Lasith Malinga is a champion, says MI skipper Rohit

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Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk: Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma praises veteran bowler Lasith Malinga, who produced an incredible last over to defend nine runs in the final over as Mumbai register a narrow one-run win in a thrilling final against Chennai played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Sunday.

After getting captain’s call to bowl the final over, Malinga responded by getting well-settled Shane Watson run-out and then trapped Shardul Thakur lbw on the final ball to seal the deal for MI.

“Malinga is a champion, he has been doing it for many years for us,” said Rohit after the match.

“I was thinking of Hardik (Pandya) for the final over, but I wanted to back someone who has been in that situation for us before, and Malinga has been there many times,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

MI coach Mahela Jayawardene also praised Rohit for his tactical brilliance on the field.

“I thought we had the game when MS got out, but then Watto started hitting. Some great decisions by Rohit, going back to experienced bowlers at the death. This is why we wanted to defend,” Jayawardene said.

Meanwhile, reflecting on the IPL 2019 campaign, Rohit said: “Throughout the tournament we played some good cricket which was the reason we qualified at the top.”

“We planned to split the tournament into two parts, every thing we did as a team, we got the rewards for them. We have a squad of 25 players, everyone came in at some stage and did the job; the support-staff as well. Our bowling in particular was excellent. At different stages in the game, the bowlers put their hands up and brought us back. Every bowler who got an opportunity put their hands up, took the responsibility and that’s why we got the rewards for it,” he added.

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