India’s top order is firing, the middle order finally seems to be falling in place, and there are bowlers taking turns clinching five-wicket hauls.
India skipper Rohit Sharma is a happy man heading into the World Cup.
“I am very happy with the last 10 ODIs we played. A lot of guys came back into form. Batters scored, and bowlers picked wickets. We’ve seen guys come back from injuries and prove their fitness. We are settled as a team, and now it is just about taking this forward,” he said on Tuesday before India’s third ODI against Australia in Rajkot.
With the team clicking as a unit, India won the Asia Cup title and achieved the World No. 1 ranking in the 50-over format ahead of the main event.
However, Rohit sounded the alarm and warned against getting carried away ahead of the World Cup, where India will aim to win the trophy for the second time at home.
“It does not matter what your performances have been or what your ranking is. Cricket is played in the present, and you have to perform on that day. Everybody staying in the present and doing the job is important. At the same time, this is a sport where you need to keep improving. Take forward the learnings we had and try to correct your mistakes,” he said.
The India-Australia series marks the end of its preparations for the blockbuster event, and Rohit feels that his side has ticked the right boxes, even in his absence.
“The last two games I was not a part of, but I thought we played good cricket and achieved a lot. We chased in one game. We batted first. We got a decent number of runs. We bowled well in both. Tomorrow’s game allows us to see if we can maintain the consistency we have seen in the last two,” he says.
The only order of business to address is the impending fitness clearance of Axar Patel, who is battling a thigh injury. Ravichandran Ashwin has taken over the mantle of the second spin-bowling all-rounder in the interim.
“He has a lot of experience. It is just that he has not played a lot of ODIs in the last few years. But you cannot take away the class the individual has. He has got a lot of variation,“ said Rohit.
The 37-year-old’s exploits in the two games have put Rohit at ease that the veteran can hold fort.
“In case there is a chance, we can look at a lot of options. As of now, it bodes well for us because we have backups ready.”
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