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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Is Rohit The IPL's Best Captain?

Is Rohit The IPL's Best Captain?

By CHITRANGADA DATTA CHAUDHURI
December 16, 2023 11:38 IST
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IMAGE: Ten years at the helm, Rohit Sharma steps down with five IPL titles. Photograph: Kind courtesy Mumbai Indians
 

A young 25-year-old Rohit Sharma took over the captaincy of Mumbai Indians. And eleven years down the line, the Hitman steps down from the helm and passes the baton to Hardik Pandya.

But while we soak in the transition, let's take a look at Captain Rohit's sensational run in which he won five IPL titles and a Champions League T20 trophy.

Rohit steps down from the post with a cabinet full of silverware and memories worth a lifetime. Mumbai Indians didn't win a single title in the first five years of the league. And then began the Hitman Era.

Under Rohit, Mumbai Indians have won the IPL in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020.

Photograph: BCCI

2013

Rohit took over the captaincy in the middle of IPL 2013. And thus began Mumbai's dominating run. On May 26, 2013, three weeks after he turned 26, the young Mumbaikar led MI to its first IPL trophy.

Not only was it Mumbai's maiden trophy, but Rohit gave the maestro the perfect farewell.

The legendary Sachin Tendulkar was playing his last IPL season, and Rohit scripted a fairytale farewell for the all-time great.

Mumbai enjoyed a dominant run. Of the sixteen league games, MI won 11 games and lost five, which saw them finish second on the table.

Rohit scored 538 runs from 19 matches, which included four half-centuries.

In the final, Mumbai faced off against Chennai Super Kings at the iconic Eden Gardens. MI defeated Chennai by 23 runs.

Photograph: BCCI

2015

After losing the season opener to the Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai bounced back to lay hands on their second trophy.

In the 2015 season, CSK was the team to beat. While Chennai topped the points table, Mumbai finished second.

MI became the first one through to the final as they overcame favourites Chennai in Qualifier 1.

But they once again found themselves in front of the Super Kings, who sealed their place in the final with a win over RCB in the second Qualifier.

In the final, Rohit led from the front with a sizzling 26-ball 50 as MI posted a mammoth 202/5. CSK failed to chase it down and Mumbai romped to their second title with a 41-run win. Rohit's knock earned him the player-of-the-match trophy in the final.

Photograph: BCCI

2017

In a nerve-wrecking final, Mumbai eked out a 1-run win over Rising Pune SuperGiants as Rohit led the former champs to their third IPL title.

It was the tenth season of the league, and the curtains dropped on the season on a thrilling note. Rohit brought Mitchell Johnson in to defend the final over.

Hero of the match Johnson needed to defend 11 runs, and so the Australian did as Mumbai scored one of the most memorable wins of the tournament.

Photograph: BCCI

2019

Another thrilling win against their favourite foes, Rohit led Mumbai to their fourth title in the 2019 season.

Just like their previous title win, the 2019 final too went down to the wire, and it produced a similar result. Mumbai clinched a 1 run win over CSK, and with it Rohit continued his IPL dominance over Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

In the league stage Mumbai topped the table with nine wins from 14 matches. In the final, MI found themselves on the wrong side after scoring 149/8 against CSK. But Rohit, who had grown as a skipper, led the side with courage as MI laid their hands on their fourth title.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Mumbai Indians

2020

Back-to-back IPL titles!

Rohit played a captain's knock in the final as Mumbai bagged their fifth title. Once again topping the table with nine wins from 14 matches, Rohit and his team took on second-placed Delhi Capitals in the title clash.

Mumbai brought their title-winning attitude to the fore as they ended Capitals' hope of winning their maiden IPL title.

After Delhi posted 156/7, Rohit led from the front with a 51-ball 68 to chase down the target with eight balls to spare.

It was title no. 5 for Mumbai and Rohit had let the side to all five -- donning the captaincy hat with determination, man management and strategy. And let's not forget the massive sixes!

It was a dream run and Mumbai have now decided to bid goodbye to arguably the best captain the IPL has seen so far.

Take a bow Rohit!!

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CHITRANGADA DATTA CHAUDHURI

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