Rohit Sharma (Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

Rohit Sharma, one of the most successful captains in the Indian Premier League, says he learnt the art of making teammates feel important from Australian great Ricky Ponting.

The India opener has led IPL side Mumbai Indians to a record four titles after being appointed Ponting’s successor in the 2013 season of the Twenty20 tournament.

“I want to make sure the 10 guys who are playing and the other players on the bench, I should be talking to them and make them feel important,” Sharma, who has also captained India in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, told India Today TV.

“And that is something that I learned from Ricky Ponting.”

Ponting, currently coach of Delhi Capitals, stepped down as captain of Mumbai midway into the sixth IPL edition and Sharma eased into the role to help the team clinch its first title.

The 33-year-old Sharma led by example with his high-scoring role as opener with Mumbai winning three more IPL titles in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

It was last year that Mumbai trumped three-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings, led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, in the final to emerge as one the most successful T20 franchises across the cricketing world.

Sharma, who has played 224 one-day internationals, 32 Tests and 108 T20 matches for the national side, believes in giving youngsters freedom to perform.

“Those players will come out good or will be at their best when they are not under pressure,” said Sharma.

“When there is not too much talking going on about them in the squad. They get to know all these things.”