Dehradun, Nov 26 (IANS): Four-time IPL winner and former Mumbai Indians bowler Mitchell McClenaghan said that Indian captain Rohit Sharma puts in a lot of preparations ahead of the big match or a tournament, and he deserved the ODI World Cup trophy.
Last week, Australia beat India to claim their sixth Men’s Cricket World Cup in front of a packed crowd at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Rohit Sharma, who had been in scintillating form during the recently concluded marquee event, was in tears following the loss in the final.
McClenaghan, who has been a key cog in the bowling wheel of Mumbai Indians for six years, felt "really bad" for his former captain in Mumbai Indians after India lost the World Cup. However, the muscular Kiwi pacer also explained how Australia won the summit clash.
"You have to give credit to Australia, as they got off to a very poor start in the tournament and a lot of people wrote them off. But they have played a lot in India, and even last year they were able to put up the show," McClenaghan told reporters in a media roundtable on the sidelines of Legends League Cricket (LLC), where he is playing for Manipal Tigers.
Reflecting on the World Cup final, McClenaghan emphasized the impact of bowlers, drawing parallels with his experiences with Mumbai Indians, where bowlers like Bumrah and Malinga played pivotal roles.
"You have to respect their bowling unit, I know Warner and Head played very well but in my opinion bowlers win your final, just won with me Bumrah, and Malinga, because there is pressure on the batters to score runs," he said.
"So I think, I would not say that Australian bowlers were far more experienced but, they have done that, they have won a World Cup for Australia previously too. I feel really bad for Rohit, in particular, because I know how much preparation he puts into the tournament, it would have been a big trophy for him. He deserved to win the Trophy, looking at how he has turned Indian cricket around in the last couple of years," McClenaghan explained.
Ahead of the IPL 2024 retention day, the New Zealand pacer expressed a keen desire to rejoin the Mumbai Indians set-up but in a different role. He mentioned undergoing coaching courses to enhance his understanding of the coaching aspect.
"Who knows (whether he would be seen in a mentorship role with Mumbai Indians in IPL)!!!. A lot of fans on Twitter and people asking when I am coming back. So right now, I'm going through my coaching courses just learning more about that side of the game. Because it is a sport that I enjoy, it is a sport that I like to get involved in," McClenaghan said.
In the ongoing Legends League Cricket (LLC) 2023, McClenaghan is also fulfilling his dream of playing against South African legend Jacques Kallis.
"You have an incredible number of players who have just retired. So it is just an incredible concept of playing cricket post-retirement," the Kiwi pacer told IANS.
"For me too, look, I got to play against Jacques Kallis, he is someone I admired while I was growing up. Unfortunately, careers never crossed over, so I didn't get any opportunity to play against him. So I got to see some awesome shots from the bat of Kallis the other night," he signed off.