His first series as permanent ODI captain resulted in India registering a maiden series sweep over the West Indies. But more than the whitewash, Rohit Sharma was pleased with the manner in which India’s middle-order came good in each of the three matches in Ahmedabad.
It had always been a point of discussion that the middle-order did not get too many opportunities because the top three bat deep. But in this series, a definite positive was that the middle-order batted well and according to the situation, said Rohit.
Opening partners for Rohit
India was forced to use three different opening partners for Rohit but none of the combinations worked in the bowler-friendly conditions at the Narendra Modi Stadium. As a result, the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda and Washington Sundar were required to step up on different occasions. And they shouldered the responsibility to ensure the bowlers’ efforts didn’t go waste.
Having acknowledged the middle-order’s role, Rohit also had no hesitation in praising the bowling unit, especially the second-string pacers, who rose to the occasion to destroy the West indies.
“The biggest positive was obviously our bowling unit. The bowling unit, the fast bowlers and the spinners, did a great job in this particular series,” Rohit said.
“Along with Prasidh (Krishna), (Mohammed) Siraj was outstanding the way he bowled, with a lot of pace again, with the new ball and in the middle. Shardul (Thakur) played a couple of games, he bowled well in the middle and got one opportunity with the new ball. And Deepak (Chahar), I was very impressed with his skills as well, like the way he swings the ball,” Rohit said.
Despite the different opening combinations, one of the common threads in India’s batting unit was Virat Kohli’s timid form. The prolific batter could tally just 26 runs in the series. Still, Rohit rubbished doubts whether Kohli’s lack of an international hundred for 27 months was a cause of concern.
“Do you really mean to say Virat Kohli needs to be given confidence,” Rohit retorted, recalling his recent contribution in South Africa.
“It is a different matter that he did not get a hundred, but in the series against South Africa, he scored two half-centuries in three games. I don’t think there is anything wrong. The team management is not at all worried about that,” he said.