Adapting to conditions in overseas tours will be key, believes Rohit Sharma

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BCCI

Adapting to conditions in overseas tours will be key, believes Rohit Sharma

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SportsCafe Desk

12/23/2017

Rohit Sharma has stated that India will try to adapt themselves to the conditions in overseas tours while adding that the momentum generated in the last series will help the team. The stand-in skipper has also admitted that as the captain, he feels the pressure of satisfying "150 crore people".

On December 27, the team led by Virat Kohli will travel to South Africa for their first proper overseas challenge in three years and the team’s resilience will severely be tested by Dale Steyn and co. Although India has picked a good pace-bowling attack this time around, the Indian batsmen’s struggle against the moving ball may give the hosts a sound sleep. Rohit, however, unperturbed by the same and said that adaptation will be the key.

“It’s always important that when you travel overseas, the last series does have an impact. The momentum that you generate, the rhythm of the team does give a lot of confidence. But once you go there, how you adapt to the conditions remains key,” Rohit said after the game.

During his double-hundred in the Mohali ODI, Rohit took 115 balls to get to the three-figure mark, and a further 36 to cross 200. On Friday, he switched gears quickly, notching up his T20I century in just 35 balls, the joint-quickest to the landmark. And considering that he got there in the 12th over of the game, it raised the possibility that he could actually become the first to score 200 in the shortest format. The opener, however, insisted that he wasn’t thinking about setting new records. 

“I don’t look to get to a particular milestone. My job is to go out there and score as many as possible [and] make sure I get my team into a good position.”

“The field is spread after six overs. I try and see where I can find my boundary options. It’s important to be able to play with the field. I want to score all round the park and not just one particular part of the ground … You become predictable then. It’s always important to score runs all over the field and that’s my strength.

“All the shots which I played please me because it takes a lot of effort to pull it off. Even when you defend, you should like it as well. It’s not only about hitting boundaries and sixes. The ball that you hit in the gap should also make you more happy.”

With a second T20I hundred and a third One-Day International double-century to his name in the last ten days, India captaincy, it could be argued, proved lucky for the Mumbaikar. Since the low in Dharamsala in the opening ODI, when India found themselves 29 for 7, the Team India have come back strongly to win both limited-overs series against Sri Lanka and Rohit admitted that there was pressure on him, and the challenge was to rise to the responsibility.

“There’s a lot of pressure (of captaincy),” said Rohit, after his 43-ball 118 set up India’s 88-run win in the second T20I in Indore on Friday (December 22). “After the first match, there was a lot of pressure on me. In Dharamsala, we were in a position where the team could have folded for the lowest score possible. After that game, I was thinking a lot about my captaincy and my team.

“There’s a lot of pressure on you always. Wherever you play, or any opposition you play, there’s always pressure. 150 crore people live in India and there’s the pressure of expectations from them as well,” he said.

“I don’t know when I’ll lead India again, so, for me, every match, every series and every moment on the field is important.”

Rohit, with his new opening partner, KL Rahul, was involved in an Indian record 165-run opening stand. While Rahul missed out on his own century by 11 runs, making the most of the opportunity afforded to him by Shikhar Dhawan’s absence at the top, Rohit steered clear of sharing his thoughts on whom he would prefer as his opening partner.

“You’ll have to ask Virat Kohli, because I won’t be the captain after the next match. Both batsmen have their own strengths. Since Shikhar is not in the team, Rahul will play the next match. But whenever we play a T20I after that, Kohli saab will be the kaptaan, so you can perhaps ask him then.”

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