Rohit Sharma has again backed Virat Kohli after he was asked about the latter’s form following India’s loss in the second ODI against England. Kohli was dismissed for 16 as India fell short by 100 runs in the chase.
“He has played for so long, he has played so many matches, he is such a great batsman, so he doesn’t need reassurance,” said Rohit on Thursday (July 16). “I think in my last press conference I had told form keeps going up and down, I mean it is a part and parcel, whichever cricket player plays, it happens in everyone’s career. So a player who has played for so long, who has scored so many runs, who has won so many matches, he just needs one or two innings, that is what I think, I’m sure that is what everyone would think… whoever watches cricket. We know on this topic there are discussions, we have seen for so many years that performances of all players go up and down. But as I had said last time the quality of a player doesn’t become bad, I think we need to keep that in mind, the guy has scored so many runs, you look at his average, he has scored so many hundreds, he has the experience of it. Until now no player has come who has done well whenever he has played. So a bit of slump will come, it comes in everyone’s life..”
India’s collapse eventually came about swiftly as they lost their last four wickets for just 6 runs after the top order had also failed to deliver. Rohit believes that there’s room for improvement there and even things to pick up from the opposition.
“It is also a challenge for us when we lose 5-6 wickets, we need to learn how to score runs lower down the order, we need to focus on this thing as to how to improve our balance and improve our batting, because whatever the situation of the game, if you back yourself, then you will get runs. We can learn from England how they batted after losing five wickets, they scored 250 runs. We can learn from them,” said Rohit.
Adding to the topic of India’s batting failures, Rohit explained that the team was working towards a shift in attitude when a collapse happens, with the focus being driven towards a more attacking approach.
“Of course, it has happened for us on a few occasions now, it is something we want to keep in mind moving forward. And we have spoken about that a lot, it has happened in the 2019 World Cup, also the Champions trophy, and a few other games as well where we were put under pressure and we lost wickets and we were 20 for 3 or 40 for 4, that is where I want the guys to change their mindset a little bit and try and see if they can be a little positive and try and take the game on because I know the target is small, you’re chasing 230-240, but obviously, is there another way that you can take when you’re chasing s target like that? Is there something different that you can do as a batting unit? I think so, yes, you can.
“More often than not unless you see what is in store, you will never know what to expect. Now, it has happened to us on a few occasions where we were 20 or 30 for 4 but that is where we want these guys to take the game on and see if they can find something different about their own game rather than looking at the team’s goal. I think if they can get the team out of that situation, imagine the confidence they are going to get from that. So it is something that we have definitely spoken about but it depends on each individual at that particular moment as well. That is where I think the role of the management comes into play and ask them to play freely and show them that what they trying to do in the middle is absolutely right,” explained Rohit.