Rohit Sharma heaped praise on Team India’s batting unit but stressed that the focus is more on the bowlers in the run-up to the T20 World Cup in Australia.
India rode on brilliant half-centuries from Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli to win the final T20 and the three-match series against Australia in Hyderabad on Sunday. But, with the ball, the fast bowling unit needs a lot of finetuning as it was spinner Axar Patel who shone with three wickets.
Speaking at the post-match Press conference, the Indian captain backed his frontline bowlers to come good.
“We want to tighten in all departments, to be honest. Our batting has been brilliant in the last eight to nine games since we played the Asia Cup but I want we should be more clinical and play with aggression. Bowling yes, we have our eyes on a thing or two that we need to do as a bowling unit, that’s mainly. Fielding is another aspect that would never stop and we would like to keep improving as a fielding unit all time but bowling is something that is in a lot more focus than batting, at the moment,” Rohit said.
“Three guys (Bumrah, Axar and Harshal) who haven’t played much cricket in the past are playing now and you got to give some time to them and get them back as quickly as possible. It’s just about getting the confidence back and with the kind of individuals they are, I don’t think it will be too long,” he added.
Rohit backs Harshal, Bhuvneshwar
Harshal Patel’s return to the shortest format hasn’t been a memorable one as he failed to make an impact in the series. The death overs specialist managed to pick a single wicket from the three matches he played and was taken to the cleaners by the Australian batters. However, Harshal has got the backing of his captain.
“I have been talking about how it is difficult for bowlers to come back from an injury. He missed cricket for close to two months. We have not really judged him on basis of his performances in these three games because We know his quality. He has bowled some tough overs for us in the past and also for his franchise. We believe in his quality,” Rohit said.
“It is important to keep showing that faith and I am sure pretty sure he is working on rectifying his mistakes and he is always working hard on his bowling. He is always working on his skills in all the training sessions we had and it’s important for players to keep working and improving. I am pretty sure that he is not far from his best,” the Indian skipper added.
India’s bowling was further dented as the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar failed to execute his plans. Rohit relied on Bhuvneshwar to give control at the death but the seasoned bowler failed to live up to the expectations. And on Sunday night, Bhuvneshwar faced the wrath of Tim David and finished with figures of 3-0-39-1. However, Rohit said Bhuvneshwar has the support of the entire team management.
“With Bhuvi, it’s important that we give him that space. When you have someone like Bhuvi in the team, we know he has a lot more good days than bad ones. Yes of late, it is not the kind of performance he would want but it can happen to anyone. It is not easy to bowl in death overs. We are working on some execution plans, we will give him more options to bowl at the death. He will be as good as he was before,” Rohit said.
“I don’t see he is short of confidence, it is still there. It is important how you come back after some bad games and we want him to do that as soon as possible. As a team and management, we believe in him and can have a few bad games. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t has the quality anymore. It’s time for us to keep backing him and his skills,” he added.
The Surya-Kohli show
Suryakumar Yadav lit up the night sky once again with a brilliant 36-ball 69 and along with Virat Kohli (48-ball 63), forged a match-winning 104-run partnership off just 62 balls.
Speaking on Surya’s knock and the batsmanship of Kohli, Rohit said, “When it comes to Suryakumar, we all know the quality he has. He can play shots all over the ground and that is what makes him special. He has been really consistent with the bat. Whenever he got an opportunity, he played impactful innings. Every time, I see him, he has taken his game a notch higher. It is a good sign as a player. Today he was exceptional. We were two down in the powerplay. To come out and play like he played to take the game away from the opposition was great.”
“Not to forget Virat on the other end. He got a crucial partnership with Suryakumar. It was great for us to get that kind of batsmanship from those two guys. When you chase 180, it is not easy, especially after losing two wickets. But they kept their calm and backed themselves, playing their shots. Good to watch it from outside as well.”
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