Rohit Sharma: 'Will be ready to lead when opportunity arises'

Rohit Sharma – leading India in white-ball cricket for the second time in six months – continued to impress as captain, leading the team to the Asia Cup triumph on Friday.

Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma receives the winner's cash prize after India's win against Bangladesh at the Asia Cup final, in Dubai on Saturday.   -  AP

He wasn’t in-your-face to the opposition. He didn’t have a camera chasing him all through the tournament. Still, Rohit Sharma – leading India in white-ball cricket for the second time in six months – continued to impress as captain, leading the team to the Asia Cup triumph on Friday. The win in the final wasn’t clinical but Sharma was with his words about the gains from the tournament while addressing the media after lifting the Asia Cup trophy.

Excerpts

On summarising the tournament

As far as the batting goes, middle-order didn’t get as many chances as we wanted them to, because the top order batsmen batted quite a lot in the tournament. But whenever they’ve got chances, they’ve shown signs of handling pressure well. It’s a different issue that they didn’t finish it off, but I think they handled the pressure well. So overall, I think our performance was dominating in the bowling and batting department. Fielding is one aspect we can improve a bit, because the catches that get dropped shouldn’t be dropped. One or two catches, I can understand, our fielding has been good in five-six games continuously. After every game I would see the fielding stats. We’d have saved 15-20 runs consistently in each game. I think in such low-scoring game, it plays a very important role. Overall, I’m pretty happy as a captain, and as a player too.

 

On Ravindra Jadeja’s comeback

I don’t think it was a break, he was out of the team. When you’re out, you have the fire inside you, that burning desire to make a comeback and prove to yourself, rather than proving to anyone else. I think he’s proved in this tournament that he’s much much better than what he was before. He came in the first game, I clearly remember, he flew in the night before and played against Bangladesh in the first game and got four wickets. Even today, he didn’t bowl 10 overs, his batting and fielding abilities are very, very crucial to the team. I think what he did on the field, that run-out was the turning point. That is something that gave us a way to come back into the game. That was crucial, he knows that. Also as a team we understand what sort of a player he is, what he bring to the table. His batting again today. although he made 25-odd runs, was so so crucial. I would say it was as good as a 50. In the context of the match, if you see, those 26 runs were as good as scoring a 50.

On Kedar Jadhav’s injury

As of now, I don’t have a clear picture. He has something in his hamstring. We don’t know because it happened now. Probably tomorrow when he goes to India, he will take a scan and then see what has actually happened. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be that bad because he came out to bat, looking okay. So hopeful. He is a very important member of the team, what he does to the field is very very important to us, so I’ll hope that it’s nothing series and he can get back onto the field as quickly as possible.

On leading India

I’ve led India before, not for a while but in just one-off tournaments, I understand the dynamics of this team, how we play cricket and how we want to go forward as a team. Taking everything into consideration we wanted to move forward. In this tournament I can say that we ticked all boxes. That’s the challenge now when we go and play wherever we go and play, to keep continuing to tick those boxes and get better as a team.

On leading India in the future

(Laughs) Definitely. We’ve just won so I will surely be ready. Whenever the opportunity comes, I’ll be ready.