Want to take team forward from where Virat has left, says Rohit - GulfToday

Want to take team forward from where Virat has left, says Rohit


India’s Rohit Sharma (front) bats during a practice session at Arun Jaitley Cricket Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday. Agence France-Presse

India’s stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma believes his job in the three-match T20I series against Bangladesh will be to take the team forward from where Virat Kohli has left.

Rohit captained India to Asia Cup victory last year and, with Kohli resting, will lead the side again in the T20 series against Bangladesh starting in New Delhi on Sunday.

“My job as a captain is very simple -- I just want to take the team forward from where Virat has left the team. What I have done at the limited opportunities that I have got is to maintain what Virat has done previously with the team. I am just trying to carry that forward, Rohit told reporters on the eve of the first T20I that will be played at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

The 32-year-old further conceded that the hosts will not take the current Bangladesh team -- without senior players like Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal — lightly and will look to be at the top of their game.

“Bangladesh is a very good team. All these years, we have seen how well they have performed, not just at home but away also whenever they have gone out. Especially against us, they have always put us under pressure. So, there’s no way we look this team differently,” he said.

“I understand there are two key players missing (Shakib and Tamim), but they still have quality in their squad which can upset any team on that particular day. I wouldn’t say upset but I would say beat. They are very mature cricketers now as all these players have played for long time.

“There are few young players. But for us, it is important not to focus too much on the opposition, but to focus on what we need to do as a team. We also have a young team and a lot of guys want to show what they are capable off. We would focus on that particular aspect more,” he added.

The Indian captain also stated that either one of Sanju Samson and Shivam Dube will feature in the playing XI for Sunday’s match. “All doors are open for everyone and anyone can play at any point of time.”

Bangladesh T20I skipper Mahmudullah has said that while the whole team is behind Shakib after the former skipper was banned for two years by the ICC for failing to report an approach by bookies, his absence will also be an opportunity for the youngsters in the team to step up and perform in the series against India.

Mahmudullah also believes that players like Shakib are not made in a day and it would be difficult for anyone to replace him.

Speaking to reporters, Bangladesh T20I skipper also said that while talks have surrounded the current pollution-related concerns in the national capital, his side is focussing on the match as such things are not in anyone’s control.

“We all know Shakib has been a great performer for Bangladesh. We know he did a mistake, but not a crime. We all are right now focussing on tomorrow’s game as it would be a perfect opportunity for our youngsters to step up and showcase their skills,” Mahmudullah said.

“It is difficult to replace him (Shakib). Players like Shakib are not made in a day,” he further opined.

When asked what he has learnt from Shakib and Bangladesh’s ODI skipper Mashrafee Mortaza, Mahmudullah said: “We have been playing together for a while. Shakib has been a great leader and Mashrafee has been another good motivator. I will try to step up and be a good leader. It is a great opportunity for me to lead my side. We have to play as a team and execute our skills.”

Meanwhile, a lot has been said about the pollution in the national capital and voices were also raised for the cancellation of the match before BCCI President Sourav Ganguly confirmed there was no such plan.

Indo-Asian News Service

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