Sunrisers Hyderabad v Mumbai Indians, IPL 2015, Hyderabad May 18, 2015

We treated it like a final - Rohit

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rohit Sharma: "We need a little more effort going into the next game." © BCCI

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma has hailed the strength of character his team showed to secure second spot in the league and set up a clash against Chennai Super Kings in the first qualifier on Tuesday. Mumbai beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by nine wickets in a virtual knockout because the winner of that game was going to jump straight to second place.

"Ricky Ponting and myself spoke about this game as being a final for us," Rohit told "Had we lost this game, we would have gone home. Now, we've got to do what we have been doing over the last five games. Every time you go into the game and come out of it, you've got to think how you can improve at least by 10%. We need a little more effort going into the next game.

"This just shows the character of the Mumbai Indians. We have created an atmosphere inside the dressing room that no matter what situations we are in, we never have to put our head down. We just wanted to prove to ourselves that we are much better than the results. We did exactly that and look at us now, in the top two in the table at the end of the league stage."

Reflecting on the four-match losing streak at the beginning of the tournament, Rohit said they had not played to their potential. With the help of the support staff, he said, they fought back and won five matches on the trot, before losing one and then winning two more to qualify for the playoffs.

"When we were losing at the start of the tournament, we were not playing to our potential," Rohit said. "We always knew we had a lot of talent and ability in the dressing room and it was all about getting that game to the fore. Sometimes when you lose, the guys in the team tend to drift away a little bit but the support staff did a fabulous job of holding everyone together. For us, we have finished one tournament and enter into a fresh tournament now. If we play to our potential this is what we can do.

"As a captain, as a leader it is very important for me to remain positive no matter what happens on the field. The message was clear - whatever had happened had happened and you couldn't change it and the best way to come out of it was to prepare for the following games. I wanted to lead from the front."

Mumbai now have the benefit of facing table-toppers Super Kings at home.

"Finishing in the top two obviously gives us a chance to play fearlessly. We have been in this situation before in 2013 where we played against the same opposition, qualified in the top two and we had another chance."

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  • Dummy4 on May 18, 2015, 20:31 GMT

    What a tournament it has been ! So far it's the best tournament. Till last day is league matches, all three spots were vacant, and 5 teams were fighting for three spots. Really great ! MI particularly displayed extraordinary cricket. After loosing 5 matches nobody was bothering MI. at that time MI was at the bottom. But after that what a great performance they displayed. Fantastic leadership of Rohit Sharma. In fact anybody can say..... The decision to give Pollard last over against KKR, was the master stroke and turning point of the tournament for the MI. Rohit Sharma decided it. Rohit just judged Pollard's body language and positive attitude. At that time Yusuf Pathan was in full mood to destroy MI, playing on 50 plus. But Rohit played gamble and got succeed. It was the turning point for MI. Whatever be the result tomorrow, the cricket lovers are going to have great treat tomorrow at Wankhede. All the best Rohit & MI.

  • cool on May 18, 2015, 19:28 GMT

    @rajuramki when was the last time Dhoni had a decent knock?

  • cool on May 18, 2015, 19:25 GMT

    @prem kumar The game is played on the ground and not with records or predictions.

  • Amar on May 18, 2015, 18:48 GMT

    If MI thought the match against KKR was final, then how are they going to fight against the CSK? :)

  • Monoz on May 18, 2015, 15:05 GMT

    It will be MI vs. RCB final. Good luck both teams.

  • Dummy on May 18, 2015, 13:43 GMT

    Whatever form MI is in, I dont see MI winning CSK. CSK plays playoffs differently. Everyone know whats gonna happen.

  • Manoj on May 18, 2015, 13:39 GMT

    I am supporting MI through out the tournament .After loosing 4 games from the beginning of the tournament everybody thinking this time MI will not qualify for the playoffs but this team has made the difference. This is happen due to great leadership quality of Rohit Sharma. He should be future captain of India instead Virat Kohli. Virat Kohli is a great player in the game of cricket but not have leadership quality compare to Rohit Sharma.

  • Dummy on May 18, 2015, 12:40 GMT

    MI fans... just stay on earth. Tomorrow everyone will know who is going to make into finals.

  • Parth7110 on May 18, 2015, 11:22 GMT

    Its MI vs RR for the finals......

  • Parth7110 on May 18, 2015, 11:19 GMT

    Its mumbai all the way. Surely they have shown the right attitude to beat any team. This time will be no different story

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