Dhoni's absence gives others a chance, says Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma said Dhoni 'will be missed', but surely an opportunity for Pant and Karthik to prove their mettle.

India's stand-in captain Rohit Sharma during a training session, ahead of the first T20I.   -  AFP

Given the task of leading the side in the T20I series against the reigning World Champion West Indies, India’s stand-in captain Rohit Sharma felt that his team can overcome the challenge if it plays to its strength.

“Going out against a strong side like West Indies and winning would not be an easy task but we need to play to the best of our abilities and focus on our team strength to get the job done. It would not help in thinking about what they can do as a team,” Sharma said ahead of the opening match.

Read: India switches to T20 mode without Dhoni

“Having said that we do understand what they (West Indies) bring to the table. They have played a lot of T20 cricket and it is the format they enjoy the most. So, they will be a strong opposition without a doubt,” he added

Sharma said that the rotation process of resting key players allows a good balance to the side. “The balance is required because of the amount of cricket we play. At the same time we got to see what our bench strength is. The players we are talking of are possible replacements to come and fill in. With the World Cup not far away, we got to see what is outside the 15 players we have,” Sharma said.

Also read: India starts favourite for T20Is, says Brathwaite

Talking about M.S. Dhoni’s absence, Sharma said the former captain will be missed but that needs to be done to give others the opportunity to express themselves. “His (Dhoni’s) experience will be missed. He has been such a massive player for us, over the years. But this gives an opportunity to other guys to express themselves. All these guys have done well for their respective teams in both the state level and the IPL. We cannot go to the World Cup with limited resources, we need to have options,” Sharma said.

Sharma said that his captaincy stints are helping him grow as a player. “I have enjoyed doing that (captaining) whenever I have gotten an opportunity and it does bring a sense of responsibility when you lead the side. I am still a stand-in captain and of course it has made me understand my game a lot better and made me understand my teammates better,” he said.