Rohit Sharma
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma. Image Credit: Sportzpics for BCCI

Sharjah: The hamstring is absolutely fine, opener Rohit Sharma declared, allaying concerns over his fitness by returning to lead Mumbai Indians following a two-week injury lay-off because of which he was not named in India's squad for the tour of Australia.

India's limited-overs vice-captain faced seven balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad before being dismissed in the match which his table-topping IPL team lost by 10 wickets.

"I was happy to be back, it's been a while. I'm looking forward to play few more games here, let's see what happens. It (hamstring) is fine, absolutely," said Rohit at the post-match presentation.

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Rohit missed the last four games before making a comeback on a day when BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, in an interview to PTI, advised him not to rush his return to the field.

For the same injury, the Indian team selectors decided not to include Rohit in the squad for the Australia tour even as he returned to the Mumbai Indians nets, fuelling speculation on his fitness.

According to Mumbai Indians' team management, Rohit suffered a hamstring strain in his left leg in the game against Kings XI Punjab on October 18.

When asked about his fitness status at the toss, Rohit said: "Looks like I'm fit and fine".

Talking about the hammering Mumbai received at the hands of Sunrisers, Rohit said it was a game to forget ahead of the Qualifier 1 against Delhi Capitals on Thursday.

"We certainly weren't expecting a result like that, probably it was our worst performance of the season. We want to leave this performance behind," Rohit said at the post-match press conference.

"Having said that we wanted to try out different things as we had already qualified, try different combinations, different batting orders but it didn't work out for us.

"It didn't work out for us but it's a good learning experience, because you need to know your bench strength as well and we do have some more games to play," he added.

Mumbai also rested Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah for the game.

The skipper conceded that the pace duo was missed but added that with a top two finish already secured, the management wanted to make sure the speedsters had some rest before the qualifier on Thursday.

"These two guys have been our wicket-taking bowlers. They have come out really good for us, have always given us breakthroughs.

"Certainly, we miss them today but we had to manage their workload as they have been playing consistently," he said.

"And the travelling doesn't make it easier also so we wanted to make sure they get few days off and get ready for playoffs," Rohit added.

Asked about the fitness status of Hardik Pandya, who has not played in Mumbai's previous two matches, Rohit said the all-rounder was rested to give him a break and to give opportunities to others.

"Fitness-wise he is fine. We just wanted to give him a break and provide an opportunity to some other guys but I am sure he will be ready for the playoffs."

One trend that has emerged in the second half of the tournament is to bat second after winning the toss because of the dew factor.

The MI skipper insisted that it is important to execute plans with the wet ball as no one has control over which way the coin will fall.

"In the first half it was about team winning the toss batting first and defending the score but it has gone the other way because of the dew coming in, weather getting slightly cooler.

"We understand that but you have got to come out and execute your skills even with the wet ball. You need to make sure you keep changing your attitude and have the belief that no matter what the conditions are you can still get the job done."

Rohit said the four-time champions are well aware of the pressure of the playoffs, adding that the team needs to come good with the bat.

"We want to forget this game as quickly as possible and try and focus on what's coming for us.

"They (Delhi) are a good side, so it will be a good challenge to face them," added Rohit.