India’s introduction to Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium was quite a funny one. Rohit Sharma at the toss was quite perplexed when the match referee Javagal Srinath asked him what the team would do on the day. But then, the Indian skipper made the perfect decision of bowling first.
Perfect why? With initial movement available for the bowlers, India made quite a stellar start, reducing the visitors to 15/4 in the first ten overs, with both Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj putting on a near-perfect display of new-ball bowling. Rohit at the post-match presentation rightfully credited the bowlers, stating that they have stepped up big time over the last five ODIs.
“The last five games, bowlers have really stepped up. Whatever we have asked of them, they have stepped up and delivered. You don't usually see this type of seam movement in India, you generally see it outside India. These guys have some serious skills, they work really hard and it's great to see them being rewarded,” said Rohit at the post-match presentation.
While India did not have quite a tough task of chasing down 109, the Indian skipper stated that a total of around 250-mark would have posed quite a challenge to them with the ball nipping around under lights.
“We trained yesterday and the ball was nipping around under lights. We knew that if they had 250 or so, it might have been challenging for us but that was the point of opting to chase. We batted first last game, so the idea was to challenge ourselves,” he added.
Rohit also opened up on his decision to not continue Shami and Siraj for a longer spell, stating that ‘workload’ was always going to be crucial, citing at the four-match Test series that is around the corner against Australia.
“Not sure what I'll do at Indore (in the final game). The confidence is high within the group and that's great to see. They (Shami and Siraj) were raring to keep bowling long spells but I reminded them that there is a Test series coming up as well (Australia at home), so we need to take care of themselves as well.”
On his personal game, there has been quite a dramatic change over the last two series. Instead of starting steady and then taking his totals to a big score, Rohit has employed a rather different approach – get off the box quickly. He stated that it is important to take on the bowlers early, and he isn’t too worried with the lack of a three-figure score.
“I'm trying to change my game a bit now, have been trying to take the bowlers on and I think that's important. I know the big scores haven't come, but I'm not too worried about it.”