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For us, it is about being ruthless, not overconfident: Rohit Sharma

Last updated on 08 Mar 2023 | 11:31 AM
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For us, it is about being ruthless, not overconfident: Rohit Sharma

The skipper responded to former head coach Ravi Shastri, who said that the loss in Indore was due to India's overconfidence

While the pitch was the talk of the Indore Test, former India head coach Ravi Shastri reckons it was actually India's complacency and overconfidence that cost them the game. After easing to victories in Nagpur and Delhi, India struggled in the third Test in Indore, where they were bundled out for just 109 in the first innings.

Eventually, Australia went on to record a nine-wicket victory and now stand a chance to level the series in Ahmedabad.

"This is what a little complacency, a little bit of overconfidence can do where you take things for granted, you drop guard and this game will bring you down," Shastri said after India's loss on Star Sports.

However, India skipper Rohit Sharma reverted with a sharp response. He said that it was never about being overconfident, but they have always maintained the need to be ruthless.

"Honestly, when you win two games and people on the outside feel that we are overconfident, it's absolutely rubbish because you want to do your best in all four games," Rohit said while addressing the media on Wednesday (March 8) ahead of the Ahmedabad Test. 

"You don't want to stop by winning two games. It is as simple as that. Obviously, all these guys, when they talk about being overconfident and all and especially when they are not part of the dressing room, they don't know what sort of talk happens in the dressing room.

"Ruthless is what comes to my mind and comes to every cricketer's mind. No to give an inch to the opposition especially when they are touring abroad.  That is also what we have experienced when we have toured outside. The opposition will never let you come into the game, never let you come into the series.

"That is the mindset we have as well. We want to do our best in all games. If it comes across as overconfidence for outsiders, it doesn't really matter to us. Ravi himself has been in this dressing room and he knows what sort of mindset we have when we play. It's about being ruthless not being overconfident."

Rohit did not get drawn by questions about the pitch on offer in Ahmedabad. He feels it is about finding ways to score runs regardless of how the surface behaves. 

"It's important that any Test match you play, leave the conditions out of it. You have to score runs, find ways to score runs. That is the talk within the group. How challenging the pitches are, how much is it turning, how much is it seaming - we are trying to keep all of that away," Rohit, who is the only player to score a century in the series, said.

"Conditions are there for us to play, and you got to find way to score runs on whatever pitches you play on. That is the talk. We are trying to figure out more and more methods of coming out top when the pitches are challenging. Every individual is different. So, they will find their own way of scoring runs. 

"All these guys have played a lot of cricket. So, you cannot change a lot in a span of three weeks. You need to change your mindset, you need to adapt to the conditions as quickly as possible. More than the skills, it is mentally how you prepare yourself, how you want to tackle the opposition bowlers. So, it's more mental than the skills."

The India skipper also lavished praise on newcomers Todd Murphy and Matthew Kuhnemann, who made their debuts in the series.

"Both have looked good. Murphy - in the first game got seven wickets. Kuhnemann got a fifer in the last Test. So, they have the potential to exploit these conditions. When you have an attacking spinner in Nathan Lyon, you need someone from the other end to compliment them as well. These guys have shown that they can handle the pressure," Rohit said. 

"Having come out of two losses, it's not easy to come out and get the job done. Both spinners have shown that they have the temperament to handle the pressure. When the pitches are that helpful for the spinners your team is expecting a lot out of you. Every ball you bowl, you are desperate to take a wicket. 

"But I thought they were calm, both of them. Pitch it in the right area and make the batter guess and make a mistake. They really have shown they have the potential to play at the highest level. For us, it is about understanding what they have done in the last two games, how we come out on top."

While admitting India did not use the DRS well in Indore, he joked about Ravindra Jadeja, who he feels reckons things everything is out.

“Jaddu yaar. On every ball, he thinks (the batter) is out. He's quite animated, it's the passion of the game," Rohit said. Vahan mera role aata hai, bhai thoda relax karo. Stump ke aas paas ball lagega toh theek hai, idhar toh stump me bhi ball nahi lag raha tha. Pitching bhi bahar tha. [My role comes there. I tell him to relax a bit. The ball wasn't even near the stumps there. They didn't even pitch in line]. Silly mistake that we made [In Indore]. We hope to correct that in this game,”

A win for India in Ahmedabad, will see them make the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia, which will be played at The Oval in June. Australia booked their place in the summit clash with a win in Indore.

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