He wants to take the team forward from where Virat Kohli went: Rohit Sharma
NEW DELHI: stand-in pattern of India Rohit Sharma he believes that his job in the three-game T20I series against Bangladesh will be to take the team forward from where virat Kohli has left.
Rohit captained India for the Asian Cup victory last year and, with Kohli resting, will again lead the team in the T20 series against Bangladesh that will begin in New Delhi on Sunday.
My job as a captain is very simple: I just want to take the team forward from where Virat left him. What I have done in the limited opportunities I have is to maintain what Virat has previously done with the team. I'm trying to take that forward, Rohit told reporters on the eve of the first T20I to be played at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.
The 32-year-old also admitted that the hosts will not take the current team from Bangladesh, without older players like Shakib Al Hasan & Tamim Iqbal -- lightly & will look to be at the top of their game.
Bangladesh is a very good team. All these years, we have seen how well they have worked, not only at home, but also when they are away. Especially against us, they have always pressed us. Therefore, there is no way we see this team differently, he said.
"I understand there are two key players missing (Shakib & Tamim), but they still have quality in their squad which can upset any team on that particular day. I wouldn't say upset but I would say beat. They are very mature cricketers now as all these players have played for long time.
"There are few young players. But for us, it is important not to focus too much on the opposition, but to focus on what we need to do as a team. We also have a young team & a lot of guys want to show what they are capable off. We would focus on that particular aspect more," he added.
The Indian captain also stated that any of Sanju Samson & Shivam Dube will feature in the playing XI for Sunday's match. "All doors are open for everyone & anyone can play at any point of time."
One area where the current Indian team has not been able to perform well is while setting up targets & defending them. This area, as acknowledged by the team management including batting coach Vikram Rathour & Kohli himself, needs improvement.
And Rohit is looking to plug-in holes in that area during the three-match series so that when the team travels to Australia next year for the World T20, they have all their bases covered. "We have looked at certain numbers & stats as to how we have done when it comes to chasing & also posting targets. Our numbers are very good when we are chasing, whether we are playing in India or outside.
"But something which we have been wanting to focus on was on posting targets & defending. That's why, you saw us chosen to bat first on a sticky wicket in the last T20I against South Africa which we lost in Bengaluru. We wanted to challenge ourselves.
"That's what we want to do. We want to set targets on difficult pitches & defend it. We want to make sure we have all bases covered before the World Cup in Australia. This is the perfect time for us to do all that. But at the same time, we want to win games as well. It's not about trying & giving. Winning games will always be the priority. We have not performed that well in T20IsÂ…we want to be at the top in all three formats, we have set the standards & there's no reason why we can't achieve that," he added.
The alternate Indian captain also said the team will support the young wicket batter Rishabh pants & will provide him with sufficient opportunities before they pass any judgment on his capabilities & talent.
"We have stuck with Rishabh pants all this while & this is the format he embraces more. This is the format that gave him a lot of attention & where he excelled. We have to stick with him for a while & see how he performs because we have seen how well he can take the game forward on his day," said Rohit.
"So, we need to back him a little more. He has hardly played 10 or 15 T20Is. So, it's very early to judge him whether he is good or not. So, I still believe there's a lot of time left before we pass any judgment on Rishabh pants ," he added.