‘Ro­hit will get space to find his own game’

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Sport - JAC.Glad­son @times­group.com

Visakha­p­at­nam: In­dian skip­per Vi­rat Kohli said the de­ci­sion to open with Ro­hit Sharma was not a sud­den one. “This has been dis­cussed for a long time now,” Kohli said. “For us and the management, the com­mu­ni­ca­tion hap­pened a long while back. But we could not see a sit­u­a­tion where that could hap­pen in the match.

“But now we have a sit­u­a­tion where, you know, the op­por­tu­nity is there. So we thought it’s the ideal time to go ahead with it, be­cause we have spo­ken about it. And, you know, in One-day cricket (too) he played in the mid­dle or­der, but then sud­denly, open­ing con­ver­sion hap­pened and within six to eight months, he was open­ing the in­nings. And you know, you know what hap­pened af­ter­wards?”

The skip­per also said Ro­hit will get enough chances. “We’re not look­ing to rush him. It’s about him find­ing his game ac­cord­ingly, be­cause in In­dia it’s go­ing to be dif­fer­ent from abroad. So open­ing is a slot where you have to give a player space to un­der­stand his own game. He’ll be given space to find his own game and come into his own.”

So where does that leave the spe­cial­ist open­ers who score heav­ily in do­mes­tic cricket? “We have given peo­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties in the past. Mayank came into the sys­tem. You know, KL (Rahul) had been there for a while Vi­jay was open­ing for a while. So there is def­i­nitely go­ing to be room for peo­ple to come in be­cause of their per­for­mances.

“Ro­hit’s been in the Test set-up for a long time. And it’s about pro­vid­ing him with the op­por­tu­nity to re­ally find his game and you know, find that tem­plate that he wants to in Test cricket. If he does that, then our bat­ting or­der at the top be­comes even more lethal.

“It’s dif­fi­cult to have a player like Ro­hit not start for you ev­ery time. I’m sure in the fu­ture, wher­ever the op­por­tu­nity pro­vides it­self, they will get their chances.”

‘Bats­men pre­pared for spin test’

In­dia have been trou­bled by op­po­si­tion spin­ners in the past, but Kohli said they’re bet­ter pre­pared now. “The last time, an im­bal­ance hap­pened be­cause for a year and a half, we played overseas. So we be­came so good at play­ing fast bowl­ing and we didn’t get to play that much spin, so our graph went down a lit­tle bit.

“We need to work on both facets. In the last 6-7 months, we have been dis­cussing this a lot. In in­ter­na­tional cricket, spin­ners are bowl­ing a lot f aster, which we haven’t played in do­mes­tic cricket. We have played loopy bowlers. So we have ad­dressed that we have to play spin­ners who bowl 90-93 kmph be­cause they were rush­ing us. These are things that we fig­ured out slowly,” Kohli said.

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