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Rohit Sharma

'IPL can help you judge yourself before the World Cup' - Rohit Sharma

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma, who led the team to their fourth Indian Premier League title, said that the tournament helped players hit the ground running ahead of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019.

The 12th season of the league concluded on 12 May, with a heart-racing final that ended with Mumbai beating defending champions Chennai Super Kings by just one run to lift the title for a record fourth time.

Now that the tournament is done, the attention of players all around the world will turn to the World Cup. The mega 50-over event is set to begin in England on 30 May, leaving IPL players such as Rohit, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Imran Tahir and Lasith Malinga, among others, with an 18-day window to get ready for the tournament.

Rohit, however, felt that playing in the IPL was a form of preparation in itself, as it allowed players to gauge their form before the World Cup, and make necessary improvements. He cited the examples of Pandya and Bumrah to further illustrate that point.

The two were key performers for Mumbai, playing in all 16 matches. Pandya scored 402 runs at 44.66, striking them at 191.42 and alongside 14 wickets. Bumrah finished as the winning team's leading wicket-taker, with 19 scalps at 21.52, conceding runs at 6.63 an over. Bumrah was also the Player of the Match in the final, for his spell of 2/14 to help the team defend 149.

"We spoke at the start of the tournament that we will assess each of the players, see where they are at and what they feel about their bodies," Rohit said. "It's more an individual thing than [what] we decide for them.

"In the case of Jasprit, he's someone who likes to play games to make sure he's in good rhythm. At the start of the tournament, we spoke that at any given stage, if he feels he needs to rest, we were open to that. But our physios and trainers have monitored him quite well, and there was constant feedback from Jasprit as well about how he's feeling. We haven't had issues with Jasprit and Hardik, so we continued to play them.

"Before the IPL, if they weren't in great form, this is the time they can get back to form. Hardik is the best example. Before the IPL, he didn't have a good time, was injured, and missed a few games as well. But he has been tremendous for us - both in batting and bowling. So, yeah it's [IPL's] a big tournament and you can judge yourself where you're at before a big tournament like the World Cup."

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