India's new T20 captain Rohit Sharma aims to groom youngsters

India's T20I captain Rohit Sharma with Ravichandran Ashwin during a training session ahead of the New Zealand series. (BCCI Twitter)
India's T20I captain Rohit Sharma with Ravichandran Ashwin during a training session ahead of the New Zealand series. (BCCI Twitter)

India and New Zealand will be squaring off in a three-match T20I series, beginning on Wednesday in Jaipur



By ANI

Published: Tue 16 Nov 2021, 4:43 PM

India’s T20I captain Rohit Sharma said the team needed to groom every youngster and not just look at one or two spots.

India and New Zealand will be squaring off in a three-match T20I series, beginning on Wednesday in Jaipur. This is the first assignment for new head coach Rahul Dravid and full-time T20I skipper Rohit.

“Yeah, I think it is important to groom everyone. I understand the importance of a bowling all-rounder but you know, keeping one particular spot in focus is not the way forward. We just have to look at the entire squad we have and how we can fit in the players and how we can be effective as a team. For that, whatever is required and whoever can do the job, we will keep an eye on that player,” said Rohit at the pre-match press conference.

“You know it is not about one or two individuals and keeping an eye on them. It is about the entire unit we have. People who are playing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, people who are back home, all of those guys as well. Keeping an eye on all players is important, we are going to do that and see whatever is required for us to be a successful team, we will do that,” he added.

Rohit said players will be allowed to express themselves in the middle without having to worry about losing their place in the team.

“I know it is the important aspect of the format where people have assurances of taking chances in the middle. If it comes off, it comes off and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. It is where both of us (Rohit and KL Rahul) need to play a huge role and a huge part in terms of giving an individual assurance of going out and expressing themselves,” he said.

“It is an important part of this format where you need to play fearlessly and while doing that, there are chances you are not successful all the time. You are always challenged, pressure is there. We will certainly keep an eye on that aspect. The entire setup will play a huge part in this. You need to instill confidence even if someone fails, as long as they are trying to do a role for the team, we are happy,” he added.

The 34-year-old Mumbai player also spoke about the importance of having a set template for the shortest format.

“We need to set the template right. India has been brilliant in this format, we have not won the ICC tournament but we played well as a team and we performed well,” he said.

“There are little holes we need to fill up and make sure that things are looked after. That will be the biggest challenge, there are holes in every team, the way you fill those is what matters. We have to follow and create our own template. It is important to go with what works for us.

“For us, to give players the longer rope and confidence will hold the key, it will be about that. We are starting fresh after the World Cup, we have some ideas and thoughts for this series, let’s see how it pans out and we will take it from there,” he added.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson will miss the T20 series, but the right-handed batsman will be back for the Test series. And Rohit said the Kiwis would be a tough opponent even without Williamson in the T20Is.

“New Zealand is a very formidable team, we have seen that over the years. They play well as a team, having said that, this team is not really dependent on one player,” Rohit said.

“I know Williamson is a big player and he leads them well, but they have players who can take the game away from the opposition. You have seen that in the World Cup, different individuals have done well. Williamson will be missed for them, but they have 10 other brilliant individuals,” said Rohit.


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