With the T20 World Cup 2022 around the corner, India skipper Rohit Sharma wants his troops to get out of their comfort zone and explore new things about their game in the six T20Is at home against Australia and South Africa ahead of the marquee event.
While pacers Arshdeep Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and all-rounder Hardik Pandya have been asked to report to the NCA for conditioning-related work during the home series, the Indian contingent will have by and large the same players who will feature in the T20 World Cup in Australia next month.
“I wanted to bring security in the team that is why we announced the team for both the series before the World Cup (Australia and South Africa). In Asia Cup also we more less had the same team,” said Rohit ahead of the series opener against Australia in Mohali on September 20.
“In these six games we want to keep trying what we can achieve with different styles. It is all about going out and trying to find ways of exploring ourselves but there is no limit to trying new things. You can extend yourself in so many directions to achieve so many things for the team.”
During the recently held Asia Cup 2022, Virat Kohli went out of his comfort zone and executed sweep shots on numerous occasions.
The Indian captain wants his bowlers to push their limits as well.
“We will keep encouraging people to be more expressive. For example someone who doesn’t play reverse sweep, can he play that and see if he can do it right. Someone can hit down the ground, things you are not comfortable doing, you do that and see what happens.
“When you go into the World Cup you should have all these answers. For bowlers, they can try opening the spell with a yorker or a bouncer,” he stated.
After the first-round exit from the T20 World Cup last year, Team India had opted for a fearless batting approach and Rohit said his team will continue to play an aggressive brand of cricket.
“We will continue to play like that. That is something we spoke quite clearly at the start of my (captaincy tenure) and everyone is comfortable with that. At the same time we know our second line of defence if we are in trouble. We spend a lot of time talking about these things,” he said.
“Guys are very clear if we are 10 for three how we need to bat. If we are 50 for no loss, how we need to bat. These have been discussed at length, it is just about executing now.”
Team India endured a disappointing Asia Cup 2022 campaign as they failed to make it to the final of the multi-nation tournament.
The Rohit Sharma-led side started the tournament with a bang, winning both their group matches against Pakistan and Hong King. However, their campaign got derailed in the Super-4 stage after suffering back-to-back defeats at the hands of Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
“If you see our Asia Cup performance as well we posted par plus or par scores in every game except the one game against Sri Lanka where we got 173 which was also a good score,” Rohit said.
“In Super 4s we had close games against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, it could have gone either way. You need a bit of luck as well. Hopefully we will get that in the World Cup.”
Further commenting on the batting style, Rohit said: “This approach of ours has given us a lot of trust that we can go out and play like that. It is a great sign. We will have another review meeting of the last 10 months after these six games and will see what we need to do in World Cup.”
The captain also hailed young left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh for his performances in the Asia Cup.
“The way Arshdeep bowled was very impressive. The way he landed yorkers in extreme pressure in his first year of international cricket, it is not easy.
“He is a very smart guy and keeps things simple. We needed a left arm seamer and he has done well in IPL and then he came here and has done well. We always wanted variety in our attack and we have that now.”
(With PTI inputs)