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Rohit: Wanted to 'make full use of the powerplay'

Mumbai's captain made his first IPL fifty since 2021 to set up his side's first win of the season

Rohit Sharma reverse sweeps Axar Patel, Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians, IPL 2023, Delhi, April 11, 2023

Rohit Sharma settled into a sedate tempo after a flying start in the powerplay  •  Associated Press

Rohit Sharma's match-winning 65 against Delhi Capitals on Tuesday night was an innings of two phases. He raced to 37 off 17 balls in the powerplay as Mumbai made a blazing start to their chase of 173, and slowed down thereafter, his last 28 runs coming at exactly a run a ball.
Speaking at the post-match presentation, Rohit said the two phases had worked out just as planned: he went out with the intention of maximising Mumbai's run-scoring in the powerplay, keeping in mind the threat of Capitals' spin trio of Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Lalit Yadav.
Mumbai brought up their first win of IPL 2023, but it didn't come easy. Rohit's first fifty-plus score in the IPL since 2021 left them cruising towards victory, needing 34 runs off 27 balls, but they lost three wickets in six balls to bring Capitals back into the game. Mumbai eventually prevailed by six wickets in what turned out to be a last-ball thriller.
"When I went to bat, I thought I need to make full use of the powerplay because as the game went on, I thought it is going to be tough with the couple of quality spinners they [Capitals] have," Rohit said at the post-match presentation. "So it was there in my mind to keep attacking, take my chances in the first six overs, and then just see where the game is heading, try and knock the ball in the gap, try and create that partnership."
While Rohit finding form was a major positive for Mumbai, their headaches haven't disappeared. Their campaign has been marred by injury, which has left them relying on a number of inexperienced players including Arshad Khan and Nehal Wadhera, who hadn't played any T20 cricket before this IPL season.
"We've got a lot of young guys, [some] haven't played IPL before as well," Rohit said. "But it's all about giving them that confidence, showing them enough trust because they will get hit for runs, they will keep getting out, but it is important to keep backing those abilities and keep telling them, 'it's okay, you are the guys who are eventually going to do the job for us.'
"So that's exactly what the team talk is and that is what we are trying to create in our dressing room as well. We don't want to make drastic changes looking at how the results come, but it's important to stick to it and follow that process which I think we are doing really well."