Kolkata, April 7:
Playing at Eden Gardens is a challenge, Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma said on Tuesday, adding that he hoped to continuing his good run at the hallowed ground where he had scored a record-shattering double century for India last November.
“You don’t break records every day. I feel the innings that I played here will definitely be in my mind and going into the game the confidence will be there,” said Rohit ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) opening game against defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) here on Wednesday.
“Although it has been a long time and I like to be in the present, I will surely take that confidence into the game because I have played well here, I know the conditions well and what to expect from the wicket.”
The right-handed batsman smashed 264 runs, the world’s highest One-Day International (ODI) score, against Sri Lanka. He played 173 balls for his knock which included 33 boundaries and nine sixes, helping India win by 153 runs.
Rohit hailed the contribution of team icon Sachin Tendulkar, who was present here as the team hit the nets.
“Sachin has been part of Mumbai Indians for the last seven years and this is his eighth year. He has been an integral part of the team ever since he started playing for MI and whenever we need him he is always there for us,” said Sharma, who was seen talking with the batting maestro in the nets.
The 27-year-old said that playing at the Eden against KKR was a challenge.
“Playing at Eden is always a challenge. Every team has the right to use their home advantage and that’s what KKR are doing. Away from home, all odds will be against you,” said the skipper.
“I see no reason why a team should not use home advantage. KKR play according to their strength and they prepare wickets according to their strength, which is fair I guess.”
Assuring everyone that he will lead his side aggressively, Rohit also defended verbal duels between players during a game.
“I have been leading the side for two years and have had fair bit of success, so I would stick to what suits me. Yes, I would be aggressive when I need to be, but a proper balance has to be maintained. You can’t lose your cool and calm in the middle,” he said.
“Verbal duels are part of the game. When you are playing a high intensity game, these things are bound to happen but then you must not cross the line. All players have played enough to realise that there is line that they should not cross.”
Talking about KKR’s strengths, Rohit said batting was key to the home team.
“KKR won the tournament last year banking on this batting line-up. They may not have much international experience but most of their batsmen know the conditions well and have been scoring runs. While international experience is essential, but their domestic players are very good. We have to counter that with our bowling strength,” he said. (IANS)