Rohit Sharma: IND vs AUS 1st Test: We are ready to play ‘horses for courses’, says Rohit Sharma on team selection | Cricket News
“It’s going to be a tough one. We know a lot of guys are in good form, that’s a good sign for the team. You have selection issues and it says a lot about the guys performing. That’s quite crucial from the team’s perspective, what we have to do is go to each venue, see the pitch and pick the best eleven. We have been doing that in the past and we will be doing that going forward,” Rohit said.
When asked specifically about his choice between Suryakumar Yadav and Shubhman Gill as there are enough indications that team management won’t drop an out-of-form vice-captain KL Rahul. Rohit, without disclosing much, answered: “Tomorrow 9 o’ clock at toss.”
Gill’s sparkling form is important and so is Suryakumar’s incredible ability to tame a raging bull like Nathan Lyon and the Indian captain made it clear that as much emphasis there will be on consistent form, the skills suitable for a particular surface will determine the playing eleven.
“Message to the boys is very clear. We are ready to play horses for courses. Whichever pitch, whoever we need, we have to bring them in. As simple as that. That is something we have spoken to the guys. We will have to assess conditions and see who are the right guys, so we are quite open with all options,” Rohit added.
Rohit acknowledged that Gill and Suryakumar are quality options for the team.
“They bring different things to the table for us. Gill we all know has been in supreme form in the last three to four months. Lots of big hundreds as well. Surya has shown in T20s what he is capable of and what sort of game he can bring to Test cricket as well. Both are quality options for us and we haven’t yet decided who will play among the two guys, keep in mind all aspects of the game. I will not give you guys anything today,” the skipper said.
“When I say something, I mean it. You have to go by what is right for that particular Test match. You need to pick that particular guy. Things keep changing every session, every day in a Test match,” Rohit further added on the team selection issue.
Rohit also didn’t spell out who will be keeping the wickets for the hosts in the series opener.
“You need to take the brave call. Rishabh was important how he batted for us. We have guys who can do that job in the middle-order. You need orthodox cricket to be played as well, we have a solid top order and all batters finding ways to score and hopefully, tomorrow we start the game, we can achieve those things,” Rohit said.
Rohit also played down concerns over Nagpur pitch after a section of Australian media has already alleged that the Jamtha track is “doctored” even before a ball is bowled.
“I just feel, focus is on playing the game. Last series we played here, a lot was spoken about pitches and all 22 are quality cricketers and not bothered about how much it is turning, how much it is seaming and all that,” Rohit said.
There is a school of thought that both Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel should play alongside Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. Again Rohit praised all four while presenting a dead bat.
“All four are quality and Jadeja and Ashwin have played a lot together. Speaking of Axar and Kuldeep, I think whenever they have gotten an opportunity, they have put batters under pressure. The last series we played against England, Axar got a lot of wickets (27 wickets), and Kuldeep when he played against Bangladesh, he got five wickets there.
“To have all 4 available is a great sign and three of them are quality all-rounders, Kuldeep also scored crucial runs for us in Bangladesh, those who can do multiple things for us gives us great options and gives us depth. So all four available is a positive sign,” Rohit elaborated.
The Indian captain believes that there is no one particular way of playing spinners of the calibre of Nathan Lyon.
“When the ball turns a lot, your methods, preparations and ways to score runs are different. It is important to have a counter-attacking method as well. Spinners are quite smart and the opposition captain spreads the field, not possible to get boundaries, so one needs to sweep, reverse sweep, try and use feet.
“Most of us have grown up playing on pitches like these. Some go straight over bowlers’ heads, some go for reverse sweep. We told boys, find your own ways of scoring runs. Australia is a different ball game. They have a couple of quality spinners who can trouble us.”
(With inputs from PTI)