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Friday, June 21, 2024

“When We Picked Team…”: Rohit Sharma Hints At Selection Mistake After Win Over Ireland

India captain Rohit Sharma wasn’t entirely pleased with the disconcerting bounce on offer from the virgin drop-in track at the Nassau County ground that left him with a bruised right bicep. While the match against Ireland ended in a straightforward victory for the Indian team, Rohit was made to reflect on the team selection strategy for the big encounter against Pakistan on Sunday. In a chat during the post-match presentation ceremony, the India captain admitted that the selection of 4 spinners in the 15-man squad doesn’t make much sense if the pitches in the T20 World Cup are going to be similar to the team had in New York.

While Rohit isn’t too pleased with the conditions, considering the team selection, marquee pacerJasprit Bumrah won’t mind such surfaces which are rarely available back home in India.

Rohit scored 52 off 37 balls before being forced to retire hurt after a delivery from Ireland pacer Josh Little bounced a tad extra and he missed a pull-shot before getting hit on the bicep area of his right arm.

“Yeah, just a little sore (the arm). I said it at the toss as well. Quite unsure of what to expect from the pitch. Not aware on what it is to play like on a pitch that’s five months old,” Rohit said with a straight face at the presentation ceremony.

But, the irritation about the variable bounce which led to the ball kicking from length did seem to bother him.

“I don’t think the wicket settled down even when we batted second. There was enough for the bowlers,” the Indian skipper said as his pace quartet had Ireland bowled out for 96 in 16 overs.

With three of his four pacers having played enough Tests, the conditions were just what the doctors ordered.

“Try to hit those lengths consistently. That’s what pretty much what you have got to do. All these guys have played a lot of Test cricket. Arshdeep is the only guy who hasn’t. His two wickets upfront set the tone for us.”

Having brought four spinners, Rohit isn’t sure if they would be required in New York at least. As far as the conditions in West Indies are concerned, the 4-spinners strategy might not come handy when India travel to that part of the globe too. 

“Don’t think we can play four spinners here (laughs). When we picked the team, we wanted to have the balance. If conditions are there for seamers, we wanted to have that. Spin will play a part later on (West Indies).

“Today was a four-seamer pitch and we still managed to get two spinners who are all-rounders.” However, the Indian skipper isn’t sure what will be there on offer during Sunday’s Pakistan game.

“I don’t know what to expect from the pitch to be honest. We will prepare as if the conditions are going to be like this (for Pakistan game). This is going to be a kind of game where all XI of us will need to contribute.” On his own innings, he was happy to start the tournament on a good note.

“It was scratchy, but good to spend some time in the middle and understand what kind of shots to play there.” Bumrah, who had figures of 2/6 in 3 overs, obviously has no complaints about the conditions.

“Coming from India, with the ball seaming around, I wouldn’t complain when there’s help for bowlers. In this format, you have to adapt to the conditions, you have to be proactive,” he said.

“Trying to stick to the plans and trying to go back to what has worked for me. You always want to cover all the bases in these conditions. You got to be prepared, very happy with the outing today.” Ireland skipper Paul Stirling admitted that the Indians didn’t leave them with too much room to chance their arms.

“We needed to put a bit of pressure back on the Indian bowlers. They didn’t really miss that often. Their groupings and lengths were outstanding.” 

With PTI inputs

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