Mumbai Indians icon Sachin Tendulkar has heaped praise on the Indian Premier League's champion team's captain Rohit Sharma, saying that he has grown as a leader over the years.
"If you compare him today with what he was when he started out as Mumbai Indians captain, he is a far better captain today. He is much more confident now.
"He has gone through a lot of ups and downs as Mumbai's captain and has faced a lot of challenges. These challenges only make you a better cricketer and a tougher person," Tendulkar said.
Rohit led from the front in the final of IPL against Chennai Super Kings, scoring a half-century and putting on 119 runs with Lendl Simmons (68) to help Mumbai Indians post a massive 202 for five, and eventually win the trophy with a 41-run victory.
"I think his execution has been particularly good this season. Whatever we planned in the meetings and dressing room, he has been able to execute them very well.
"You can tell a lot about the captain from the feedback the bowlers give you. The bowlers bowl in the areas and execute the plans that the captain asks them to," Tendulkar told iplt20.com.
"We can plan many things behind closed doors but it is up to the captain, the bowlers and the fielders to bring it all together. Rohit has done that well," he insisted.
Tendulkar termed Mumbai Indians' amazing turnaround this season, after four straight losses, as "fantastic!".
"We had a difficult start, really tough one. But those are the testing moments. That's when the team stuck together and we worked hard. This victory is not a coincidence; it is the reflection of all the hard work that we have put in," said the legendary batsman.
"All of us truly believed that we could change things around. It is not how you start but how you finish that matters," he added. The 42-year-old legendary batsman said his team never lost the faith and belief even when they were losing back-to-back matches.
"What stood out for me was the belief and faith we had in our ability. At no stage any player was ready to put his head down thinking this is a difficult season and there is no future for us. We always saw the light at the end of the tunnel," Tendulkar said.