JAIPUR: India’s new T20 captain Rohit Sharma on Tuesday said instilling a sense of security in players will be his priority and he will not stop hand-holding them even if they fail in a few games while trying to perform specific roles for the team.
Ahead of his first full-time assignment as India captain against New Zealand, Rohit outlined the need for him and coach Rahul Dravid to play a “big role” in allowing individuals to play fearless cricket and instil confidence even when they don’t get the desired results.
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“I think it is an important aspect of the format (T20) where people have that assurance of going in and taking those chances in the middle. If it comes off, it comes off, if it doesn’t then what happens,” Rohit said when PTI asked how he would like to maintain a balance between security and flexibility while trying out combinations going into the next T20 World Cup in 11 months’ time.
“That’s where both of us will have to play a huge role and huge part in terms of giving that individual an assurance you know going out and expressing himself,” the skipper was categorical on how he and the new coach will go about their job.
Rohit’s eye will be on how players are reacting to a variety of pressure situations and how well they are able to express themselves while understanding the pitfalls of taking risks.
“Especially, in this format where sometimes, you need to go out there and play fearlessly while doing that there are chances that you might not always be successful. Because it’s such a short format, you are always challenged and the pressure is always there.”
For Rohit, it is important that the individual knows what the team requires of him and doesn’t deviate from the set game-plan.
“I think the entire set-up will play a big part in making sure that particular individual wherever he bats and how we want him to bat goes and does the job for us.”
So what happens when a player fails?
“If he doesn’t, you still try and instil the confidence in him that we have full faith in you and just go and do the role for the team. As long as they are trying to do the role for the team we are happy,” the skipper played with a straight bat.
Doesn’t matter what role you play in IPL
Rohit said that players are “not machines” and will require rest to rejuvenate but, at the same time, when they enter the Indian dressing room, it won’t matter what role they play for their state team in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy or their respective IPL franchises.
“We just need to set the template right and we have got some time to do that. India has been brilliant in this particular format and its just that we haven’t won the ICC tournament, we play well as a team, performed well team.
“Of course there are little holes that we need to fill up and of course that will be the biggest challenge as a team. Holes are there in every opposition team and more you try and maximise that,” explained Rohit.
India’s template won’t be a photo-copy of other teams and it will be their own customised one.
“I am not going to say that we are going to follow a certain team’s template, we just have to create our own template and what is best for our team, and what is right for our team.
“Our boys play SMAT and IPL and they play differently for their franchisee, differently for SMAT and when they come here, they play differently, we strictly want to assign the role which they do here matters. for that it can take few games or it can take a while.”
Rohit spoke about giving long rope to players.
“For us, to give them that longer rope and confidence is important to give them that confidence. We are starting afresh after the T20 World Cup and we have set some ideas and thoughts for this particular tournament as of now. Let’s see how it pans out and we will take it from there.”
It’s not about grooming only Venkatesh but all youngsters
The skipper understands the value that seam bowling all-rounder like Venkatesh Iyer can add to the side but Team India is not just about trying to find a slot for one player with a particular skill-set.
“I think it’s important to groom everyone. I understand the importance of bowling all-rounder but you know, keeping one particular spot in mind is not the way forward,” he said.
“You have to look at the entire set-up, the squad that we have and how we can fit in the players and how we can be effective as a team and what is read and whoever can do the job for us we will keep an eye on them.”
“It is just not about one or two individuals and keeping an eye on them. It’s about the entire unit and set-up we have. Even people who are playing Mushtaq Ali T20, all those guys as well.
“Keeping eye on everyone equally is important and whatever is required for us to be a successful team in this particular format, we will try and do that,” he concluded.