India’s newly-appointed T20I captain Rohit Sharma has stressed the importance of looking at the entire squad and finding a solution in order to be a successful team.
India had a horrid campaign in this year’s T20 World Cup, bowing out of the group stages after losing to Pakistan and New Zealand. They struggled mostly due to lack of enough bowling options, with Hardik Pandya’s injury making things worse.
As the Men in Blue begin their journey under Rohit Sharma and new head coach Rahul Dravid with another T20 World Cup scheduled in less than a year, their main aim will be to find a seam-bowling all-rounder.
However, Rohit Sharma feels that keeping only one spot in mind is not the way forward. Addressing a virtual press conference ahead of the first T20I against New Zealand, Sharma said:
“I think it’s important to groom everyone. I understand the importance of a bowling all-rounder but keeping one particular spot in mind is not the way forward. We just have to look at the entire squad that we have and how we can fit in the players and see how we can be effective as a team.
“For that, whatever is required and whoever can do that job for us, we will keep an eye on them,” he added. “It’s not about keeping an eye on one or two individuals, it’s about the entire unit that we have. We need to see whatever is required for us to be a successful team in this format and we will do that.”
India have picked all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer, who is potentially seen as a backup for Hardik Pandya. Iyer, who can also bowl medium pace, shot to fame during the second phase of IPL 2021.
Opening the batting for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), he amassed 370 runs and and is also very handy with the ball. He was in superlative form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and will hope to replicate his domestic form at the highest level.
“There are holes we need to fill up” – Rohit Sharma
A lot has been spoken about templates each team follows in the shortest format. Sharma also stressed the importance of having a template and didn’t rule out following other teams’ models.
“I think we just need to set the template right and we have got some time to do that,” the 34-year-old cricketer from Mumbai said. “India has been brilliant particularly in this format, it’s just that we haven’t won an ICC tournament. But we have played well as a team. There are holes we need to fill up. That will be the biggest challenge for us.
“I’m not going to say that we are going to follow other teams’ template,” Sharma explained further. “We will do what suits us best. The players play a different role in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, franchises and in the national team. We need to define a specific role for players in the national team. For us, it’s important to give the players a longer rope and confidence to perform their roles.”
ALSO READArticle Continues below
The three-match T20I series between India and New Zealand commences on November 17 (Wednesday) in Jaipur followed by games in Ranchi and Kolkata.