Rohit Sharma, in the post-match press conference, admitted that it was a tactical move to bring T Natarajan instead of the struggling KL Rahul. However, the Indian vice-captain insisted that it is too early to make a decision regarding the top-order with the World T20 still good months in future.
India’s muddled approach has been a constant talk throughout the five-match T20I series against England. From opening with Shikhar Dhawan in the first T20I to pairing Rohit Sharma with Virat Kohli at the top of the order has been quite puzzling. That combined with their decision to drop KL Rahul didn’t go down well amongst the fans while the result ensured India won the game convincingly.
In the post-match press conference, Rohit Sharma stated that it was a tactical move to bring in an extra bowler in the form of T Natarajan in the playing XI instead of the struggling KL Rahul in the setup. However, he also added that Rahul has been one of the key players for the Indian setup.
“Ya look, World T20 is far away, early days to talk about and about the batting line-up. We just have to analyze and look at things. Today it was a tactical move, we wanted an extra bowler, we had to leave one batsman out, unfortunately, it was KL and it was a tough move. We know that he has been one of our key players in this format but looking at the current form, it was better to go with the best XI,” Rohit told pressers in the online press-conference.
Rohit also hinted that the Indian team would play more T20Is at home before the World T20 in October while keeping a lip on the opposition. He added that, in regards to Rahul’s form, nothing can be decided yet, with IPL coming ahead.
“It doesn’t send any signal though, it was for one particular game and things will change from time to time. We understand his ability and contribution, so I’m not going to rule out anything. It is still early days, there will be IPL and a few T20s before the World Cup, so we have enough time to guess that,” he added.
On the other hand, the Mumbaikar insisted that getting the ‘right’ combination would be highly beneficial for the Men in Blue, which is something that they have focused on in the five-match series.
“It was good for us to bat with this batting unit, we have to sit, analyse and think about it. We as a team will look at things and take a call. For us, the combination and getting in the right player matters at the moment. I think we will be focusing on that, come to the World T20. I don’t think Virat will open in the ODI series, so let’s talk about what is next for us. Everyone contributed well.”
Shardul Thakur’s rise in form has also been highly beneficial for India, with an impetus on the right-arm seamer to come up with the goods in the death overs, especially in conditions where dew is immense. He added that Thakur’s ability to come up with crucial wickets has made him a key bowler in the setup. In all, Rohit credited the efforts of the bowlers to shut this strong English side in the series decider.
“He’s a wicket-taking bowler (Shardul), he’s bowling to the best of English batsmen. Got three wickets this game, yes he went for runs and not everyone can be economical on the day. As long as these bowlers give us crucial breakthroughs, so we could play with a few runs here and there, taking wickets is very crucial. So he’s been given a certain role, like batting, the bowlers are sticking to that and they have been rewarded for that. Except for Bhuvi, Hardik has just started to bowl, this is a relatively new bowling unit, it was good to see that effort.”