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India vs England: Rohit Sharma backs Virat Kohli’s rotational policy

Virat Kohli, who took over as captain from Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 2014, has led the side in 37 Tests fielding a different playing XI in each of those matches. With India 0-2 down in the five-match series against England, the trend is expected to continue.

cricket Updated: Aug 17, 2018 11:22 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Virat Kohli,Rohit Sharma,India vs England
India captain Virat Kohli arrives for a nets session ahead of the third Test Match between England and India at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.(AP)

India batsman Rohit Sharma on Thursday backed skipper Virat Kohli’s rotational policy stating that while cricketers do want a certain stability in the selection process, players of the current Indian side realise that whatever changes are made are for the betterment of the team.

Kohli, who took over as captain from Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 2014, has led the side in 37 Tests fielding a different playing XI in each of those matches. With India 0-2 down in the five-match series against England, the trend is expected to continue.

“As a player, nobody would want to be in a situation where if you don’t perform you will be out of the team. But again, the captain and the coach are in tremendous pressure to give out the best every time. Whatever decision they make, the team members support and stand by that decision,” Sharma said on the sidelines of launching Conekt Gadgets, a smartphone accessories brand, here in Mumbai.

“Of course (a player) gets upset on missing out. I have been a captain and I know how it feels to leave out a few players. The last thing that you want as captain is your players not standing by your side.”

With the side on the verge of losing two consecutive series overseas, former cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar have already lambasted the team’s preparations ahead of the tour.

However, while Sharma did admit that the side should prepare better ahead of tough tours and play more games to get used to the conditions, he also added that it’s not a feasible proposition given the number of games that the cricketers are involved with throughout the year.

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“The best preparation you can have is to go to a particular country and train and play as many practice games and net sessions as possible. But it cannot happen because of the games that we play; we hardly get a few days in between to prepare for the next series. But whatever time you get, whether in Mumbai or England or Australia, you try and prepare for the conditions,” Sharma said.

“Like if you head to Australia, you try and play on bouncy pitches because it doesn’t swing much as compared to England but it bounces a lot. But I think the best preparation you can have is by going to that particular country and spending as much time as possible and giving yourself the best chance to prepare. If you’re playing against Australia, you have to prepare in Australia.”

The third Test gets underway at Nottingham and Sharma said he hoped the side’s batsmen, who barring Kohli have had a disastrous tour so far, can create pressure on the hosts.

“I hope this is the Test match where out batsmen can put their bowlers under pressure because I want to see that. Because I have seen that in the past that if put under pressure, not all sides respond well. I want to see that from our batting line-up,” Sharma added.

First Published: Aug 16, 2018 21:56 IST