Rohit Sharma backs K.L. Rahul, expects great contest against Australia

India vice-captain Rohit Sharma said he expects a great contest against Australia, refused to comment on the controversy surrounding M. S. Dhoni's gloves and backed K. L. Rahul's abilities to the full.

India vice-captain Rohit Sharma addresses the media on the eve of his side's ICC World Cup 2019 clash against Australia.   -  AP

Staying in the present and focussing on performance, seems to be Rohit Sharma’s mantra. Ahead of Sunday’s big match against Australia in the ICC World Cup 2019, the Indian vice-captain spoke to the media here at the Oval, and he exuded confidence.

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“In the World Cup, you have to turn up on that day and play good cricket. What we have done in the past is past. As a team we believe that we have to play better on that particular day. We had a good rivalry between the teams in the last few months. We played good cricket in Australia, they played good cricket in India. So it’s going to be a great contest,” Rohit said.

The opener admitted that his match-winning hundred against South Africa wasn’t a regular aggressive knock but it was an innings that gave him immense satisfaction. “It was a massive confidence booster. Talking about the innings, I felt it was not the way I would like to play but obviously you have to respect the conditions, and at times the bowlers as well, which is probably the reason I would say that it is one of the best. There was something in for the bowlers. You have to try and bat the condition so that was a bit challenging,” Rohit said.

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“I have played more than 200-odd ODIs. Experience teaches you a lot. You want to make sure that you start the innings and finish the innings, as well. When I did that in the first game, the satisfaction you get is something else,” the centurion added.

He refused to comment on the controversy involving M. S. Dhoni’s wicket-keeping gloves but was quick to support K. L. Rahul’s ability: “It might seem that he didn’t get big runs, but that 26 (against South Africa) was as good as getting a 50-plus on that pitch. He looked good and was confident. More often than not he will be coming at number four when the ball will be doing a bit, and being an opener it’s an advantage for him to get used to the conditions quickly.”

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Among the leading ODI run-scorers for India, Rohit believed that it is an ‘external reward’ for his performance with the team. “For me, it's always been about going and getting the job done for the team. When I started opening the innings, it was challenging because I have never done that before in international cricket, but I have come a long way,” the prolific batsman said.