‘Rohit will get space to find his own game’
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.