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'Disappointed not to bring the Cup back but IPL a new challenge'

Source: PTI
April 05, 2015 16:45 IST
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Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma. Photograph: PTI Photo

Rohit Sharma has said while the national team members are disappointed at not being able to retain the World Cup, a new challenge awaits them in the form of the upcoming Indian Premier League. 

India lost to eventual champions Australia by 95 runs in the semi-finals of cricket's showpiece event at Sydney and IPL franchise Mumbai Indians' captain Rohit said the focus was now solely on winning the eighth season of the cash-rich Twenty20 tournament.

"It was disappointing not to bring the World Cup back, but once we got back to India we knew a new challenge was lying in front of us, which was the IPL. Now we are thinking about how to win the championship," said Rohit at a media conference ahead of the IPL, starting on April 8.

'I don't think anyone is mentally tired'

Mumbai Indians players Kieron Pollard and Rohit Sharma during a practice session. Photograph: PTI Photo

The Indian opener, who has two one-day double hundreds to his credit, said although the Indian team had stayed for around four months in Australia, everyone was now prepared mentally and physically for two months of IPL.

"I am perfectly ready. IPL schedule is released well in advance. So everyone knew we had to compete soon after spending four months in Australia, so all of us are prepared mentally.

"I don't think anyone is mentally tired because ultimately, as players, we want to do well in every tournament we play. It is an opportunity, another big platform for all of us to perform," said Rohit. 

'We have roped in a lot of young Indian talent'

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma intracts with Hardik Pandya during a practice match. Photograph: PTI Photo

Mumbai Indians, champions in 2013, are all set to take on the defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders in the opening game of the T20 tournament at the Eden Gardens and he was gung-ho about the chances of his team. 

"They (KKR) have got the bowling line up and are defending champions. We have to be at our best. Obviously being the first game pressure will be on both sides to perform. They play well in Kolkata and understand the conditions really well. We got the squad, the batting line up to overcome that situation.

"We have roped in a lot of young Indian talent in the players' auction. It looks a very well balanced squad. We have had a very good preparation ahead of this IPL season. We hope that all youngsters deliver during the tournament," he said. 

'It will be important to get the first win of the tournament'

Mumbai Indians Rohit Sharma with players during a practice session. Photograph: PTI Photo

Rohit was also happy that Mumbai's first game was in Kolkata, where they had beaten Chennai Super Kings in the 2013 final.

"We have had very good memories of Kolkata. We won the championship there. We understand the conditions there very well. Am sure the guys can exploit the conditions well. It will be an important opening game for us.

"It will be important to get the first win of the tournament and build that momentum and continue from there," he said. 

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