Bowlers are in great rhythm and they don’t want rest, says skipper Rohit Sharma

Mumbai, Nov 1 (PTI) India skipper Rohit Sharma asserted on Wednesday that despite the workload on his bowlers during the World Cup they were in “great rhythm” and willing to give off their best without wanting any rest.

Indian batting has been backed by superb bowling performances, which has helped the hosts win all six matches so far, and the skipper also indicated there were no injury concerns among his bowlers ahead of the tie against Sri Lanka here on Thursday.

India, with 12 points from six outings, have one foot in the semifinals and a win on Thursday will confirm their place in the last-four.

“As far as resting for the bowlers is concerned, I think they are in great rhythm at this point in time. They don’t want to rest. (Their) body is fine. This is the feedback that I have got from all the bowlers. So, they are happy to play games,” Rohit told the media during the team’s optional session.

Rohit also indicated that spinners will continue to play a vital role in the middle overs in the upcoming matches and three slow bowlers was a possibility on Thursday.

“All sorts of combinations are possible. You can still play with three spinners and two seamers if need be,” the skipper said in response to a query if there will be changes in the bowling line-up for the game against Sri Lanka.

“In this World Cup, you have seen spinners actually are the ones who are stopping that run-flow in the middle overs. I am keeping my options open, whether we have Hardik (Pandya) or not, at this point in time to play three spinners or not,” he said.

“If the situation demands for us to play three spinners, we will play three spinners. I feel spinners actually with a lot of skill-set can put the brakes on the scoring rate in the middle overs. Our spinners have got so much skill bowling in these conditions,” he added.

Rohit, who has been India’s leading run-getter in the World Cup with 398 runs in six matches, did not want to take all the credit for the team’s success, and instead said that everyone was complying in his role.

“It’s not my thought process (that India is enjoying a dream run), it’s the team’s thought process that the guys comply with. When things look good, everything looks good, everything works well,” he said.

“I know how this whole thing works. I’m quite aware of one game here and there, I know suddenly I’ll be a bad captain. I know how it works. I try and do what is necessary from the team’s perspective and be sure of that,” he said.

India’s unbeaten run in the World Cup so far has given the hope that it could go all the way to the title, but Rohit said the team was focusing on one match at a time.

“No, we are not thinking of going that far, honestly. We just want to win every match. I have said this so many times, that for us, every match that we play is important,” he said.

“How we do well in that, what things we didn’t do in the last match, how we can do in this match. Our focus is on that. And after that, we move our vehicle forward. It won’t be right for us to think about the future, that we have to go unbeaten, and stay unbeaten. I don’t think that is the goal. The goal is to play every game and play it well,” he added.

Rohit conceded there were expectations from the legion of fans but added it was “nice to have people expecting a lot of things from us”.

“I’m sure all 15 of us (in the squad) when you travel in India, whether you’re playing matches or not, there are people at the airport, in the flight next to you, or anywhere you are travelling, they will talk about your game. ‘We want a hundred. We want to see you taking five wickets. We want to see you winning games, tournaments, series’, and all of that,” he said.

“I am sure all these things have been in the players’ ears since the beginning. I don’t think it’s pressure, but it’s nice that people are expecting a lot of things from us. And a nice way to respond is we know how,” Rohit said, hinting about the ultimate prize in the competition.

“But at this point in time, we are enjoying the cricket that we are playing and we want to continue to do that as long as possible and as deep as possible,” he added.

The India captain said that the Wankhede Stadium is not just a batting paradise but the pitch also has something for the bowlers.

“This is a ground where things can be quite unpredictable at times, like there’s so much in it for the bowlers as well,” he said. “You can see, probably a top spell coming from the bowlers, rattling the opposition, that can happen,” he said.

“As you say, it’s a high-scoring ground, but at the same time, if the bowlers put the ball in the right areas, it can be slightly difficult. So, everyone gets value here, the bowlers, spinners as well, and the batters,” Rohit added.

Source: PTI News


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