Rohit Sharma emphasised that he and the other batsmen have to take on the responsibility of ensuring good scores for India and chip in with critical partnerships against South Africa.
Addressing the media here on Tuesday, Rohit said: “In the last two games we didn’t bat well, which is why we lost the games. There is no excuse of being short on match practice. We have been playing continuously in the last three months, but yes, we just need to be aware of our shot selection.
“Last game you saw in Durban, the conditions were pretty similar to what we get in India. Yes, there was a bit of bounce, but as a batsman you need to understand that you are playing in South Africa, and there is going to be bounce.
“It is really up to each individual [about] how they tackle it, how they understand their game, and adjust accordingly. What was missing here was partnerships.
“What we did over the last year was we maintained good partnerships, which is not happening here. We need to get one 100-run partnership and a couple of 50-run partnerships.”
The Indian opener reiterated that the team is here to play hard. “We are here to compete, and not have fun and just look around South Africa. Since the day we arrived here we wanted to prove a point. We tried our best, but unfortunately it didn’t work out.
“There is one more game and a couple of Test matches after this. I am sure things will turn around,” Rohit said, while also defending the middle-order and adding that the selection-call on Yuvraj Singh would be taken on Wednesday prior to start of the match.
Meanwhile Ryan McLaren, like his other South African teammates, refused to write off the Indians. “They are the world No.1 ODI team for good reason. Got some good batters, lots of their top order batsmen have performed well over the year and in the Champions Trophy.
“May be it’s a case of just adapting to the conditions and also the fact that our bowling unit has bowled well in the first two matches,” the all-rounder said.
McLaren lauded Dale Steyn’s role as the spearhead and said: “We obviously feed off his energy and aggression. He bowls with great pace and we feed off him.”
And when asked about him and Jacques Kallis having similar all-round roles, McLaren quipped: “I shouldn’t be compared to him. It’s like comparing a (Volkswagen) City Golf with a Rolls Royce.”