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Youngsters not under pressure in seniors' absence: Sharma

Rookie middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma insists that the absence of senior players is not putting extra-pressure on the youngsters in the Indian squad.
By Ashish Shukla Ashish Shukla Ashish Shukla | PTI, Melbourne
UPDATED ON FEB 08, 2008 11:22 AM IST

India's tri-series squad is packed with rookies but promising middle order batsman Rohit Sharma refuses that the absence of seniors is putting extra pressure on the youngsters.

Sharma admitted that a few youngsters in the side, including him, were in the squad at the expense of some well-known seniors such as Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly, but they were taking it as a challenge to make themselves counted.

"I wouldn't say it's pressure. It's more of a challenge for us youngsters to do well," Sharma said.

The Mumbai batsman reminded that the young brigade had proven itself in the Twenty20 World Cup and said the players were trying their best to make their presence felt in the on-going series as well.

"We won the Twenty20 tournament without seniors and we would try to do well in this present series too," he said after the team had nets this morning.

Sharma, who made 29 and 0 in the first two games of the tri-series, said more opportunities should be given to youngsters to establish themselves in team.

"I would say yes the youngsters should get more chances in order to establish themselves in the side. After all, we are playing against two very good one-day sides," he argued.

The 20-year-old Sharma wants to cement his position in the middle order and conceded that not only he needed to build on his concentration but also selection in strokeplay.

The right-hander acknowledged the help of Sachin Tendulkar in preparing him to combat the craft of Muthiah Muralitharan who got him out cheaply in Brisbane, but he denied he had any problems against spin.

"I lasted only two deliveries in that match. It's not that I'm having problems against spin. But Tendulkar did speak to me about how to play spin. He has so much of experience and he generally is trying for us youngsters to come to terms with these conditions," he said.

"Conditions here are vastly different to what we face in India and his advice is very helpful. Since the day I first met him in CCI, I haven't found him difficult to approach for any help."

Sharma said it was the lapse of concentration which cost him his wicket against Australia in the opening game of the series last week.

"Gautam (Gambhir) had just been dismissed and it affected my concentration a little. Till we were batting, I had no problem. But that little lapse in concentration cost me wicket," he said.

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