Kolkata: After leading Mumbai Indians to its maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) title, skipper Rohit Sharma described the victory as the perfect farewell gift to batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, who bid adieu to the cash-rich league.

"It was disappointing not to have Sachin in the last few games. Nonetheless, we are happy that we could give him the perfect farewell by winning the trophy," Sharma said on Sunday after his side registered a 23-run victory over Chennai Super Kings at the Eden Gardens.

Tendulkar, who missed the last few games, including the final, due to a wrist injury, announced after the match that it was his last IPL. Describing captaincy as a challenge and a learning curve, Sharma expressed his indebtedness to Tendulkar and senior pro Ricky Ponting for guiding him.

"Captaincy was a good challenge and it's been a great experience and a learning curve. It has been a great journey with ups and downs and I am fortunate that I had seniors like Sachin and Ponting to guide me through in tough times," said Sharma, who took over reins of the team midway into the tournament after a struggling Ponting stepped aside in the interest of the team.

He also praised Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu, who stitched together an important 36-run partnership to bail Mumbai out of trouble after they were reduced to 16/3.

Sharma also had words of admiration for his bowlers, especially pacer Lasith Malinga, who struck twice in the first over to seize the initiative for Mumbai.


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