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Rohit Sharma most impressive captain in Indian Premier League 2016: Sourav Ganguly

India Today logo India Today 07-05-2016
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Former India captain Sourav Ganguly said he is impressed by the way Rohit Sharma has led defending champions Mumbai Indians in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League.

Mumbai started the campaign on a poor note losing the season opener against Rising Pune Supergiants at home. Rohit's men were languishing at the bottom of the table after winning only one off their first four games this season.

However, Rohit's batting form inspired them to win four out of their last five games which included a hat-trick of victories. Mumbai are now among the top-four with five wins from nine games.

Ganguly believes that the defending champions are peaking at the right time and are looking good to reach the play-offs this season. He credits Rohit for the team's stunning comeback-run so far. "Rohit Sharma has impressed me the most. He has taken the team on his shoulders single-handedly," Ganguly said in an exclusive interview to India Today television.

Rohit has scored 383 runs from nine matches in the tournament and is among the leading run-scorers. The Mumbai batsman has got five half-centuries out of which four have come in winning causes this season.

Ganguly also credited Suresh Raina for his successful show as captain but said Rohit had impressed him the most. "Suresh Raina also has been impressive but Rohit who is winning the matches with his bat. He has taken more responsibility and thus Mumbai are one of the favourites," he said.

Ganguly also showered praise on Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan calling them the 'men behind Delhi Daredevils' revival this season'.

"You have got to give credit to Zaheer Khan and Rahul Dravid. It's takes great courage for a young side to turn it around after being bowled out for 99 in their first game. You have got to give credit to the men who are dealing with the young team," he said.

While Zaheer, Raina and Rohit have been ticking all the right boxes, the more established Indian skippers Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli have had torrid times this season.

Both teams have been let down by their bowlers, Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore being the worst-hit.

Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram points fingers on Bangalore's inexperienced bowling attack for the team's poor show this season. "Their bowling is bit inexperience and that's why they're struggling. Especially in Bangalore, where the boundary is small and the air is thin, it's easy for batsmen to attack inexperienced bowlers. Also, Bangalore is one of the best batting tracks where you need a bit of experience in your bowling to survive," he said.

Meanwhile, Ganguly said he found nothing unusual with Kohli's batting form but said that he had to find ways to get his team back on track.

"Kohli is a class act. With his ability he plays up the order. He has done exceptionally well. The bowling has let him down. Last game against Knight Riders they were cruising and to see him losing them from there is unreal. He has to find a way to make a comeback.

"It's not going to be easy for him. He has lost a lot of games. Both Pune and Bangalore have to win all their remaining games," he said.

Ganguly said newbie Pune were struggling to combine well as a unit after losing key players to injuries this season. Notably, Pune have lost four of their main men - Kevin Pietersen, Faf du Plessis, Mitchell Marsh and Steve Smith - during the initial stages of the tournament.

"They have found it hard to combine as unit. Too many players have gone in and gone out. They have lost some key players. It's hard to find replacements," he said.

Ganguly also had a word of advice for Dhoni - the batsman. "Dhoni under-utilises his ability in the longer-formats of the game. He could actually open in T20 cricket. Once he gets set he could murder bowling attacks. He has not been giving himself enough time to get set," Ganguly said.

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