New Delhi: He has been a successful captain for Mumbai Indians since 2013 and has lifted three Indian Premier League (IPL) titles in the past. With two back-to-back wins against Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders, batsman Rohit Sharma says he is looking at a good campaign in the IPL this time too, especially with the "mixed bag" of veterans and young blood.
"... We have a mixed bag of both T20 veterans and young-blood talent in the team. With this combination of experience and energy, I am confident that we are looking at a good series," Rohit told IANS when asked about his take on Australian paceman Pat Cummins's back injury and how he sees the chances of his team this season with a weakened bowling attack.
"Pat Cummins's injury is very unfortunate," said Rohit, who captained Mumbai to three IPL titles in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
In the ongoing IPL season, the team has so far played 10 matches and with six losses, they are at the fifth spot on the points table, but are still in contention to make it to the play-offs.
Asked how he plans to strategise on his best team combination, Rohit said: "Doing what's best for your team and making the best use of your playing eleven is what I look at. Often it happens that you don't use your playing eleven to their best potential; so my focus is to make sure I do."
In the international arena, Rohit is also the first and the only batsman to hit three One-Day International (ODI) double hundreds. He has the highest score in the 50-overs format to his name and his first double was 209 against Australia in 2013.
Many call him a gifted cricketer but Rohit, who wants to "leave behind a great body of work", says he is not a fan of that tag.
"I'm not a fan of that tag because my abilities are something I've worked very hard to develop. I started off as a bowler. Batting is something I started working on later. Every time I step on to that field, I give it my all and that is what I vow to do till the very end," said the 31-year-old.
On ground he is seen as someone who is very calm and deals with all complications with ease. So is he like that off ground too?
"A calm mind is as important as physical fitness in the making of a professional sportsperson. Many people mistake calmness for submissiveness and that couldn't be further from the truth.
"I have realised that being calm is nothing but being extremely focused on what you are doing. You blur everything in the sidelines and concentrate on a target. Training in a sport inculcates this very naturally and it is but natural that it spills over off the ground as well," said the right-hand batsman.
And probably this is the reason why he "thrives on discipline".
"While there are no shortcuts to success, each of us is wired differently. I thrive on discipline. But when I am not playing, I also enjoy a night out with friends. The key is to strike a healthy balance and I have a fabulous support system by way of my family, friends and teammates to thank for this," said Rohit, who is also a doting husband.