Heaping praise on Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma, coach John Wright said that the youngster was "one of most natural captains" and under-estimating him as a leader would be a mistake. "Rohit is one of those guys who just jump into the role and fit into it like a glove," Wright said. (Click here for latest on Indian Premier League)
"His tactical decisions have been great, which is very important on the field. But leadership is all about performance, and Rohit has led the team from the front. He has done an outstanding job and I don't think he should be underestimated," he added. (Also read: Srinivasan named in IPL spot-fixing probe report, says Supreme Court)
Wright, however, pointed out that as defending champions' skipper, Rohit would face challenges. "He will always be faced with a challenge. This time, he comes in as the defending captain, which is not easy. But his captaincy adds a lot to this team, and what he has contributed to this team should not be undermined. In some of the big games last season, I don't think he put a foot wrong. I think he's one of the most natural captains I have ever met," Wright told the IPL's official website. (Click here for full IPL schedule)
Speaking on his team's composition and their options in the tournament, Wright said, "There's an air of expectancy. All the teams have a different make-up this time, and from our point of view, we have a core of players from last year as well as some new additions, which is interesting." (Also read: Jonty Rhodes impressed by outstanding fielding efforts)
On playing the first leg of the tournament in the UAE, Wright said his team was well organised. "Sometimes, combinations are governed by conditions, but that is not the case here. We had a look at the wicket and there was a bit of grass, so it should be a good wicket. Our selection should be very much what we had thought of. We're pretty well organised," he said.
With departure of the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Dwayne Smith and Dinesh Karthik, there are huge spots to be filled, but the coach feels that the absence of these players will present the uncapped cricketers such as Aditya Tare and Jalaj Saxena -- a chance to shine. (Related: Hussey promises to 'chew' Sachin's ears)
"There is an opportunity there. Some of the big players are not a part of the setup now and we have some young Indian players who have a spot to compete for. Some of the guys are new, while some have been with us for two-three years, and now it is their time.
"I think that's the greatest thing about the IPL -- it creates an opportunity for a virtually unknown player to come in and make a name for themselves. Let's hope we have the right youngsters who seize that opportunity," Wright explained. (Also read: Sachin monitors Mumbai Indians' training)