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Monday, Dec 09, 2019

India vs Bangladesh: T20 format is one to try out emerging players, says Rohit Sharma

India last won a T20 series on home soil last year against West Indies, but after that they were beaten by Australia and later drew 1-1 with South Africa.

cricket Updated: Nov 07, 2019 08:17 IST
Devarchit Verma
Devarchit Verma
Hindustan Times, Rajkot
Indian captain Rohit Sharma speaks during a press conference.
Indian captain Rohit Sharma speaks during a press conference.(AP)

India’s stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma on Wednesday called for patience with the young T20 team he is leading.

Sharma said the shortest format provides young players the best platform to prepare for international cricket’s longer versions—ODIs and Tests, and added that India’s strategy of featuring so many youngsters in T20s is a key reason behind the team losing so frequently and slipping in ICC rankings.

India lack firepower in the ongoing T20 series against Bangladesh with the absence of Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya, as they enter a must-win game on Thursday.

Sharma said, “You need to understand that this is the format where we are trying a lot of players. The key players are not involved (in this series) so we are trying the younger players who are there in the lot, sitting on the fringe. Probably that is one of the reasons to be honest (for India’s recent performances), because in the other formats we have our entire squad playing the game—you get what you want from that particular squad.”

India are ranked first in Tests, second in ODIs but fifth in T20s.

Also read: Third umpire should be able to spot no-balls, says Adam Gilchrist

“This is the format where you can try (new players), and there is no harm in doing that. We want to try a lot of players, to get them ready for the other formats also because here, these individuals can come out and express themselves, so that they are ready for ODI and Test cricket. We have seen a lot of players from this format who have gone on to play ODI and Test formats. We want our bench strength to be as strong as possible,” said Rohit.

“That is how all of us (progressed), including myself and the other guys (Hardik and Bumrah) who started playing T20 format first and went on to play ODI and Test cricket.”

But Rohit conceded India will be taking Bangladesh seriously as they look to avoid a T20 series defeat.

Also read: MS Dhoni unlikely to commentate in Day-Night Test at Eden Gardens - Report

“Having said that, it does not mean we have to not win matches. We have to win—that is the priority. But these guys will learn from it,” said Rohit, who became India’s most capped T20I player, with 99 appearances, in the first match of this series.

India dropped catches and erred with DRS calls in their loss on Sunday. But the India captain said the team will learn from mistakes and will be different in their approach.

“We have to play better cricket, which was something we didn’t do. We were short in a lot of departments, we were not good on the field. Those are the things we need to recalculate and bring into this game. It is important to focus on the mistakes we made and make sure those mistakes are not repeated. That is the sign of a good team—not repeating mistakes,” he said.