Mumbai Indians’ fortunes have changed for the better after Rohit Sharma has taken over the captaincy from Ricky Ponting. The stylish right-hander has not only steadied the MI ship with some valuable contributions with the bat, but has also impressed with his leadership qualities. MI is currently placed third behind Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals in the Pepsi-IPL-VI points table.

MI left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha said after the crushing victory against Kolkata Knight Riders that Rohit was very independent and composed despite the presence of many seniors in the team.

Rohit has an impressive aggregate of 430 runs off 291 balls, 200 as captain in six matches at 50.00 compared to Ponting’s 52 in six games at 10.40. After a disappointing start in the ‘away’ matches against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings, Rohit has made an impact in almost every outing, with a combination of crisp drives and big blows.

After a dozen matches, MI is on the road to the play-offs with its main batsmen and bowlers getting into the groove. Though Rohit is the leading scorer, Dinesh Karthik has continued to play a crucial role at No. 3 while the openers, Dwayne Smith and Sachin Tendulkar, have begun to click (245 runs in seven games).

Ojha credited MI’s success largely due to the ability of the experienced batsmen, though the main bowlers Mitchell Johnson, Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga have also been among the wickets.

While MI would look forward to its third ‘away’ win in order to confirm its berth in the play-offs, PWI would strive to put it across a team that has prospered in home conditions winning all six matches.

A number of home players turned up for the optional practice session on Friday afternoon.

Both Aaron Finch and Angelo Mathews, who have led the Warriors this season, have not been able to pinpoint the reason for the team’s dismal showing, but feel that the inability to stem the flow of runs in the last four overs has hurt the side.

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