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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Space out Tests and ODIs, Rohit Sharma slams BCCI ahead of South Africa one-dayers

After the gruelling Test series vs South Africa cricket team, Indian cricket team’s ODI vice-captain urges BCCI to consider spacing out formats while on tour

cricket Updated: Jan 31, 2018 17:08 IST
Indian cricket team’s Rohit Sharma hinted at the toll on players the Test series vs South Africa cricket team took, after a long home season.
Indian cricket team’s Rohit Sharma hinted at the toll on players the Test series vs South Africa cricket team took, after a long home season.(Getty Images)

India’s South African summer, which has seen them hit highs and lows in equal measure and given them several nerve-jangling moments, is far from over. After the intense three-Test series, the second leg of the tour, expected to be equally gruelling if not more, began on Tuesday morning with Virat Kohli & Co getting down to a full practice session here at the Kingsmead.

India play six ODIs followed by three T20s and it is only by February end that they get to return home. The last time India played so many ODIs here was in 1992 when the seven-game series went 5-2 in the hosts’ favour.

There is no doubt that the grind in the Test series after a long home season would have taken a toll on the players and ODI vice-captain Rohit Sharma hinted as much.

When South Africa last toured India, in 2015, they went for a break during the series. England, who followed in 2016-17, went for a winter break after one format. The Australians broke their trip into two parts – the Tests in early 2017 and ODIs later in the year. However, with Indian teams touring abroad, usually the whole tour is bunched together.

“Ideally, we’d like to have a break in between the Test and ODI series and would like to go home during the period before returning for the second leg,” Rohit said at the media conference. He, however, left it to the BCCI to decide.

“There have been talks about going and playing just one format and then going back home. For India, it’s never been like that. We have always played the whole series whenever we’ve gone abroad. It tends to take a lot out of your body. Ideally, we’d like to go back, refresh, get some time, think about what we need to do and play another format.”

The only positive among all this has been the boost that India got following the win in the Johannesburg Test. It should help them get into a positive frame of mind as switching formats at such short notice isn’t new for the Indians.

“More than the technical aspect, it is the mental aspect. You need to tell yourself that the shots you played in Tests and shots you play in ODIs are different. All the guys have been in the situation before, where they have ODI cricket after Test cricket so I don’t think they need to put too much pressure on themselves to change anything. We’re used to it now, doesn’t matter,” said Rohit.

Last year was great for India in ODIs. However, barring the run to the final at the Champions Trophy, Virat Kohli’s boys won mostly at home or if away, it was against weak teams.

The team knows that wins here alone will count. “Since then (the Champions Trophy final), it has been a good run. (But) we want to get those victories away from home. It is always important what you do outside India,” said the India ODI opener.

First Published: Jan 30, 2018 23:07 IST