Rohit Sharma led the Indian team in the absence of Virat Kohli and had another title under his belt by clinching the Asia cup 2018. The Indians defeated Bangladesh by 3 wickets and the match went breath-taking till the last ball in the final game. India won the toss and chose to field first.
The Bangladeshis gave the tough fight to the opponents and finally, they were bowled out at 222 for 48.5 overs. The chase of 223 runs has not been a cakewalk for the Indians since the Bangladeshis were tough at bowling and fielding. Rohit Sharma led India for eight ODIs and seven of them were victories.
In the press conference after a victory of India after Asia cup, he said “I have led India before. I understand the dynamics of this team – how we play cricket and how we want to go forward as a team,”
“In this tournament, I can say we ticked all the boxes. And that is the challenge for us to keep continuing to tick those boxes and get better as a team.”
He felt that middle-order needs more scope to perform well and there should be much improved in the Indian fielding. He added “Our middle order didn’t get as many chances as we would have like to. Our top-order did most of the work but they have shown signs of handling pressure. It’s a different matter they couldn’t finish the job but they handled pressure well. From first match onwards, our performance was dominating. Fielding is one area where we have a scope of improvement. Overall, as a captain and player, I am very happy,”
“Asia Cup is a big tournament. We did lose in England but we weren’t playing badly. We weren’t able to finish the game. Few senior players weren’t available for this tournament but those who were, they have the capability to win us matches. They have done this for their teams be it the state or in the IPL. I think nobody took any pressure.
“As a management, our job is to give the freedom to players to play freely like they do at the domestic level. Our message to them was clear – treat this as how you play for your teams back home. Don’t change anything. These players have the talent otherwise it would have been someone else. It was important to tell them that to get rid of any insecurity,”
India suffered the loss in their last ODI series against England by 1-2. Virat Kohli was rested for Asia cup keeping the tour to Australia in mind. Rohit advised youngsters to treat international stage just as they were playing for their domestic team to overcome pressure and fears. He gave spinners the total credit for the series victory. He said “We came here with a young team. Most of them did not have the experience of playing in such conditions so it wasn’t easy for them. Few came from England and it was important to get used to these hot conditions. It was a challenge. Our spinners consistently bowled well in slow conditions. Even today, after Bangladesh began well in the first 20 overs, spinners brought us back in the contest. Their consistency is a positive sign,”
Rohit spoke about the exclusion of players of Asia cup from the main squad if the regulars are back into the team that it is just an opportunity to strengthen their position in the team for future tournaments. He finished this tournament with 317 runs at a jaw-dropping average of 105.67.
He said that“It’s a challenge for any team when few of your senior players are rested and then make a comeback, few other guys will miss out. This has been the hallmark of cricketing fraternity. Every team is doing that and also guys understand that. So whenever they get the opportunity they make it count. For us, as a captain or coach, we have to ensure they have the liberty to play their game,” he concluded.