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With a coach like Ravi Shastri, Indian cricket team gets freedom: Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma says that under coach Ravi Shahtri the Indian cricket team members don’t feel any pressure

cricket Updated: Apr 23, 2018 23:59 IST
Sarthak Bal
Sarthak Bal
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Ravi Shastri,Indian cricket team,Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma and Ravi Shastri feel that India will be in a strong sposition going into the 2019 cricket World Cup.(NurPhoto via Getty Images)

India batsman Rohit Sharma and coach Ravi Shastri are confident of Indian team’s success at next year’s World Cup in England and Wales.

Given India’s tremendous showing in the one-day series in South Africa, where they beat the hosts 5-1, Rohit feels India’s ability to adapt and their uninhibited style of play will carry them a long way.

“I think so,” Rohit said when asked if India can win the 2019 World Cup. “From how I look at it, a team needs freedom and with a coach like him (Ravi), you get that freedom. We never felt under pressure about going and winning outside India. For me it is about winning, whether at home or outside. There is a lot of importance given to winning away from home. But for me, it is about going and representing my country and winning everywhere,” Rohit added while speaking at a book launch.

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“And what we did in South Africa was an example of how this team is going to play over the next few years, at least till the World Cup. We want to go and express ourselves on the field. We want to enjoy our cricket. It is the most important thing that a cricket team can do on the field. We have learnt from our mistakes and we tried and rectified them when we went to South Africa. Hence, we saw improved performances from all the players.”

Sharing his views on India’s performance in South Africa, the Mumbai Indians captain said: “We read the conditions well and that is what cricket is about. I thought we did our homework pretty well against the opposition. The three Test matches we played, we dominated for nearly 14 days. One day of bad Test cricket and we lost the series, but that can happen. We are a young bunch but to come out and perform like that against a quality side gives us a lot of confidence ahead of tours of England and Australia.”

South Africa tour

Shastri called the tour of South Africa as the turning point for the Indian team.

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“Before we went to South Africa, I had clearly stated that the next 15 months are going to define this Indian team. No two ways about it. What our boys did in South Africa makes me proud as a coach because there were 21 days of cricket and on each of those 21 days, India competed,” said Shastri.

“We might have lost a close Test series but on each one of those days, the pendulum swung from one side to the other. A little bit of luck and that series could well have been ours.

“We believe we can compete against any side in the world in any condition. You don’t play the opposition, you play the pitch. The pitch is the same for both sides, so if you get a combination of players that can play well on that pitch, so be it. You can’t please everyone when it comes to selection. If you conquer the pitch, the rest will follow (with your selections),” Shastri added.

Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke also backed the Indian team to come good on their upcoming tour of England. He feels a victory there would give them the added impetus for the tour of Australia later in the year.

“I certainly think they are in with a great chance to win in England. If India can beat England in England, they’ll go to Australia with confidence,” Clarke said.

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“I think if India and Australia have their players fully fit, it will end up as an unbelievable series. There’s no doubt that losing Smith, Warner and Bancroft is going to hurt Australia.”

Clarke further emphasised on the Australian team’s need to rebuild their team and regain confidence if they are to maintain Australia’s unbeaten record against India Down Under.

“They need to find a way and start to rebuild really quickly, because it is a massive series considering we have never lost to India in Australia,” said Clarke.

First Published: Apr 23, 2018 23:59 IST