India stand-in captain Rohit Sharma has a very good record as captain. He has led India to seven ODI and eight T20 wins as captain, has lost just two matches in white-ball cricket as India captain, and led the team in the famous Nidahas Trophy T20 tri-series final. What’s more, he has three IPL titles under his belt as Mumbai Indians skipper.
After the opening batsman led the men in blue to a thrilling three-wicket win over Bangladesh in the Asia Cup final in Dubai on Friday, Rohit was asked about his leadership style and whether the presence of former skipper MS Dhoni helps him. The skipper said he seems similarity between the time-tested leadership of Dhoni and his own growing style.
“We keep learning from Dhoni bhai. Whenever there was any issue on the field, he is always there to answer questions,” Rohit said after India’s win off the last ball against the Tigers.
“What I have seen him captaining over the years, he doesn’t panic, takes a few moments before taking decisions. Somewhere that similarity is there in me. I also try to think and then react. You are playing 50 overs but taking time is important and that is what we have learnt from watching him.”
That calm leadership has helped India remain unbeaten in the Asia Cup and put the ODI series defeat to England behind them. Rohit said the main challenge was to overcome the tough conditions. The skipper was pleased that all departments worked perfectly.
“The pitches were slow. Our spinners played very well throughout the tournament. Today as well, after the start they had, our spinners brought us back into the match. Even for fast bowlers, it was tough as there was not much in the pitch. Our fast bowlers understood the conditions and bowled according to it,” the opening batsman said after finishing with 317 runs from five matches.
“In batting, our middle order didn’t get much chance as the top order did a lot of batting. But when they got chances, they showed signs of handling pressure even though they couldn’t finish the job. Overall, our performance was dominating in bowling and batting.
“Fielding we can improve as we dropped a few catches. (Even so) In six matches, our fielding was very good. After every match I saw our stats. Every match we have stopped 15 to 20 runs. In low-scoring matches, it matters a lot. I am very happy as captain and player.”
TOP WORK BY BHUVI, JADEJA
The all-round performances of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ravindra Jadeja were also a positive for India. Bhuvneshwar scored 21 and Jadeja scored 23 in the final while with the ball, they picked six and seven wickets respectively in the tournament. Rohit said their performance is a big boost to the team; Jadeja was making a comeback to the ODI team after a gap of more than a year.
“Bhuvi is a very crucial member of the squad. It’s been a few years now. He has been playing an important role not just with his bowling but also batting. Today his 20 odd runs were so crucial to get us to the finish line. He understands that the team wants him to bat as well,” Rohit said.
“Jadeja was out of the team. When you are out, you have that burning desire where you want to make a comeback and prove yourself. He has proved to himself that he is much better than what he was before. The first game, he came the night before, played the first game against Bangladesh and took four wickets. Today, he didn’t bowl his 10 overs but his batting and bowling abilities are very crucial to the team. The run-out that he did was the turning point. His batting was so crucial. It was as good as a fifty in the context of the game.”
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