Ahead of the 2013 edition of the Indian Premier League, Mumbai Indians acquired the services of Australia's batting great Ricky Ponting. He was eventually named the captain of the side as well. Even as his performances remained underwhelming with the bat, MI's current captain Rohit Sharma has now said that his presence made a huge impact in building positivity among the players.
Rohit was talking to his fellow teammate Ravichandran Ashwin, who is India's Test match specialist at present. The duo touched upon various topics and Rohit opened up on working with Ponting.
"In 2013, we got Ricky Ponting in the auction. In 2012 Sachin (Tendulkar) said he would not lead Mumbai and Harbhajan Singh was made the skipper," Rohit told Ashwin during their online interaction.
"But in 2013, I don't know why Bhajju paa wasn't made the captain. And I thought I will be made the captain but then Ponting was bought in the auction.
"Ponting was the first one to arrive in India for the 2013 season. He wanted to understand everyone. He said that he wanted to have a team bonding session first.
"In a way, it made a very positive impact on everyone. Ponting really motivated the younger guys," he added.
Rohit also explained why Ponting stepped down as captain in the middle of the season. The Mumbai batsman was then named the captain of the side, and he led the franchise to their first-ever IPL title.
"He was not scoring runs so he decided to step down as the captain. Eventually, Ponting called me and I was given the captaincy. He actually was player-cum-coach during the 2013 season. He was always there to help me," the India opener said.
Since being named the captain of Mumbai Indians, Rohit has led the franchise to four IPL titles - making them the most successful of all the sides in the tournament so far.
Earlier, Indian bowler Ishant Sharma also heaped praise on Ponting, calling him the 'best coach he ever met' (READ HERE). The Australian former cricketer currently coaches Delhi Capitals in the IPL - the franchise Ishant represents.