Rohit Sharma's straightforward reply to criticism over 'conservative' approach affecting India's T20 WC chances in 2021
Notably, India have scored at a rate of 9.45 runs per over this year. No other team has scored at a faster rate than India in 2022.Going into the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, the Indian team management has roped in mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton to create the right environment.
‘Timid’ and ‘conservative’ were among the few words that were used by cricket experts to slam the Indian team's effort following a heartbreaking T20 World Cup exit in the group stage last year. India's policy of preserving wickets rather than taking the aggressive approach and scoring at a brisk pace had badly backfired as they had lost the two most crucial games in the group stage - against Pakistan and New Zealand. But India, under Rohit Sharma, has shrugged off the approach, taking the more aggressive route which was clearly visible in their recent T20I wins. Hence, when the India skipper was asked about the same, he turned down the criticism over 'conservative' approach.
“We haven't got the results in the World Cups but that doesn't mean we were playing bad cricket for so many years,” said Rohit. "I don't agree that we were playing conservative cricket. If you lose an odd game in the World Cup, it seems we were doing things wrong and we didn't take chances. But if you look [at it], we won probably 80% [71%] of our games leading into the World Cup. If you are conservative, you won't win these many games."
Rohit went on to inform the media that the team management had given a free hand to the players to play freely. Rohit informed that he had asked his players to play freely like they played for their franchise teams in the IPL, without worrying about the results. Notably, India have scored at a rate of 9.45 runs per over this year, their best in a calendar year where they have played more than one match. No other team has scored at a faster rate than India in 2022.
Only the true followers of cricket know that the sport is as much a mental game as a physical one. To condition Indian players mentally, the team management has brought back Paddy Upton, who had previously worked with the Indian team and was a part support staff for the 2011 World Cup-winning side.
Rohit said "I feel his inclusion could make a difference in creating the right environment". Talking to the media, Rohit added "Paddy knows a lot of our players as well, he has worked with them closely. The mental side of the game, as we know, is very, very important. With his experience, with his ideology, I think it's going to help us."