Rohit Sharma: 'Australia will be a different ball-game'

After the 3-0 Windies whitewash, India stand-in skipper and opener Rohit Sharma is all set for the challenge Down Under that starts November 21 in Brisbane.

India stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma heaped praise on Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant.   -  AP

India stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma, who is slowly transferring bits and pieces of his IPL success to the international arena in limited-overs, likes to stay in present to cultivate the ruthless side.

After the 3-0 clean sweep against the West Indies in the T20I series that concluded with a six-wicket Indian victory at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, Rohit lauded his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan and youngster Rishabh Pant for gaining form ahead of the high-profile tour of Australia that starts in 10-days time in Brisbane.

“It was important from the team’s perspective, and for the players to get some runs ahead of the important Australia tour. Shikhar was batting well in the ODI series. He was not able to get big scores. He was getting 30s and 40s. I am glad that he could play a match-winning knock today and get some form under his belt before the crucial tour.

“Rishabh was also hungry to go out and get some runs. It was the perfect situation today. We were two down inside the first six overs. There was a bit of pressure as well. They handled it well and it was a match-winning partnership (130 runs off 80 balls for the third wicket),” he said.

Mission Australia

The last time India toured Down Under, it clinched the T20I series 3-0. Now that the upcoming tour starts with the shortest format, Rohit stressed on the importance of starting afresh.

“Australia is always challenging when it comes to going out there and performing. Every time you go there, you are tested as a player, as an individual and as a team.

“When you win a series like this, you are high on confidence and it is all about taking that confidence there. Australia will be a different ball-game and I completely understand that. But I think the things we have been doing as a team, we have to keep repeating the performance. It is a never-ending story,” added Rohit, who has also been included in the Test squad.

Going by form, Rohit stands a good chance to make it count if included in the playing XI in the first Test at Adelaide that starts December 6. But the man — who is 64 runs short of being the highest-ever run-maker in the T20I format — isn’t thinking that far.

“We have the T20Is and practice games before the first Test match. I am not thinking about the Test match. All I am thinking of is going back, taking a few days off, and take the flight to Australia. We will have enough time to think about the Test match after that. If I try and stay in present, it works for me. Test matches are something I was looking forward to for a long time, It will be nice to go out there and play a Test match for India,” he said.

Rohit also unlocked the secret to his captaincy success. “Every game is a new game. Every time I go out there in the middle, I keep things simple. This game is simple if you keep it simple. If you overthink, it can get complicated.”

Rohit also pointed out the positives from the home series, fielding being the primary one. "We ticked a lot of boxes. I am happy how we fielded. There was going to be a question mark on our fielding after a long home season that we have played. I think we fielded really well in the tournament. In batting and bowling, there will be mistakes and good performances but I was particularly happy how we fielded."

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