Sydney | Ahead of India’s all-important World Cup semi-final against Australia, star batsman Rohit Sharma today said the team knows how to win crunch matches at big events and this would be a big plus for the side when it takes on the co-hosts at the SCG here tomorrow.
With the likes of Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin knowing what it takes to win a 50-over World Cup while Rohit being a part of World T20 and ICC Champions Trophy triumph, the Mumbai opener feels that India will have that advantage going in their favour.
I think so because we all played big games. Even Champions Trophy in 2011, so it brings the best out of everyone during those big matches. So, yes, we look forward to this and hopefully it will be an exciting contest, Rohit told mediapersons at the pre-match conference.
For Rohit, enjoying each other’s success has been key to this turnaround after a dismal show in the early part of the Australian Summer.
We will enjoy each other’s success more than ever. Be it batting or bowling. As I said at the start, we have played in big matches so we know what it takes to come out as a winner. So hopefully, we’ll have a good start tomorrow. That’s going to be very crucial whether we bat or bowl, we have to start the game very well. Then you’ll see.
As the game progresses, we will see where we stand at that point in time and then think about it and analyze. I’m sure we’ll all be prepared and geared up and ready to go, Rohit said.
The SCG is a happy hunting ground for Rohit as he shot to fame with an unbeaten half-century in a CB Series final in 2008. Talk about that and the stylish batsman is a bit nostalgic.
Well, it’s been a long time now, seven years. It’s still fresh in my memory. It was the first final and I was batting alongside great Sachin Tendulkar. So, there is no way I could forget that. It was an important game. We had to win that game, and we were chasing I think 240-odd. As a batsman, over the years, I’ve learnt a lot of things, Rohit fondly recollected.
As he has said many times, Rohit again reiterated that opening in ODIs changed his game and approach as a whole.
Certainly batting up the order has changed my game and my approach towards the game and making me more responsible. So every time I go out there to bat, I always think that I will have to play as many overs as possible. I really enjoyed the last couple of years of batting top of the order.
Rohit agreed that the SCG track would offer some turn but at the same time reminded that the Indian bowling attack is not particularly dependent on either spinners or pacers.
If you look at the history of SCG you would find that spinners actually come out and bowl really well. You see the Test Matches also we played in Australia, spinners played a huge part. So I think if it does (turn), we’ve got spinners who can do the job for us.
But at the same time, he didn’t ignore the role of pacers.
It doesn’t matter to us because if we look at the tournament, we’ve taken 70 wickets in seven games, as we’ve distributed by the spinners and the fast bowlers. So it doesn’t matter. Whether fast bowlers or the spinners, we’ve got going in both areas. Our spinners have really bowled well in the tournament and so have the fast bowlers. So it’s a good sign to go into the semifinals.
Rohit won’t mind a bit of sledging provided it doesn’t cross the line.
You saw during Test series that both teams won’t back down while having a go at each other. So, yeah, it’s part of the game, I guess. But I just hope it doesn’t cross the line. We all know as professional cricketers there are boundaries which we need not cross. As long as it’s inside those boundaries, we’ll be fine. Rather than thinking about getting into their skin, we should focus on our gameplan, he said.
About his batting style, Rohit has had a tendency to play himself in where the first 50 takes 65 to 70 balls but the next 50 comes in 25 to 30 deliveries. But by his own admission, he doesn’t consciously do pace-setting of his innings.
I don’t think about all that. I just bat. I know that if I am able to bat long enough, with Powerplay and fielding restrictions, I will get a lot of runs in the end and make up for the initial phase. So initially, the job is to get set and then it becomes easy to score.
Asked if playing against Australia pumps him up, Rohit pointed towards his India crest and said, Whenever I wear this jersey, it’s a good reason. I don’t need someone else to pump me up. It’s important for me when I wear that India cap, I need to work hard, and I know that. I don’t need any external situation to pump me up.
Rohit feels that Australians can be vulnerable while batting and that was proved by Wahab Riaz during quarter-final match.
They’re definitely struggling against some quality fast bowling like we saw in the game against Pakistan. We have a different bowling attack. We have to stick to our strengths. So we have other ways to come in, whether it’s spin or pace, you’ll see that tomorrow, the batsman tried to play a few mind games.
The intensity was there to be seen when someone asked if at times it’s difficult to stay away from home for more than four months with no near and dear ones by his side.
Obviously, we all miss home but our mission is to win the World Cup, so when we finished the Tri-Series, it was already two and a half months then, none of the guys thought about going back. We were right there and we just wanted to be a part of history. So we have to make the last four months we spent here useful by staying in the semi-finals and finals.
Subscribe to our email newsletter.