“Don’t Agree That We Were Playing Conservative Cricket”: Rohit Sharma


India captain Rohit Sharma is back, after having rested for the ODI series against West Indies, and now he would be leading the side for the upcoming five-match T20I series, beginning Friday. Ahead of the series, Rohit addressed a press conference on Thursday, where he said that according to him, India were not playing conservative cricket in the shortest format last year ahead of the World Cup.

“We haven’t gotten the result in the World Cup, that does not mean we were playing bad cricket. And I do not agree that we were playing conservative cricket, if you lose 1-2 matches in the World Cup, it seems like we did not take the chances. If you look at the games we have played before the World Cup, we won 80 per cent of those. I do not understand how can you win these many matches if you are conservative,” said Rohit.

“We lost the World Cup, but it can happen, but that does not happen we were not playing freely. Lately, it is not like we have completely changed something, we have just given players the freedom to express themselves. If you play freely, performances will come out. The people on the outside should maintain peace, the way we are playing cricket, there will be failures and the results might not go our way, but it is okay as we are trying something. It can happen that mistakes take place but that does not mean that the players are bad. With time, everyone has to change, we are changing, so people on the outside also need to change,” he added.

When asked about whether there are any spots to fill in the squad for the World Cup, Rohit said: “There are some spots that we need to fill, but we also know what we need to do to fill them. We will try to address all the issues in the coming matches, we want to give guys the freedom. We can talk about preparation and technique, but the players should be left alone when the match comes, we just want them to play like they do when playing for franchises or state teams. Our job is to eliminate the pressure, we are just trying to create an environment where guys can play freely.”

“No, the composition is good, we have got a good mix of players who can cover all facets of the game. There are a few guys who have been rested also keeping in mind the workload and all of that. We also need to make sure that everyone is fresh, come the World Cup, we don’t want to be having any injuries or niggles, we are trying to manage as much as possible with all the players. So yeah, I think it is important that guys here get an opportunity to play against West Indies. We look forward to that challenge,” he added.

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Lastly, talking about Paddy Upton as a mental conditioning coach, Rohit said: “He has got so much experience working with different teams at different places. His inclusion in the team will help all of us. Definitely, he will bring the mental side of the game into the picture. He has worked with the Indian team before, he was part of the 2011 World Cup winning team and he has had a lot of success with franchise teams.”

“I think he has got the experience, he knows a lot of our players as he has worked with them. As we know, the mental side of the game is really really important, with his ideology, I think it will help us. It was a great move to bring him in and let’s see, what happens in the next few months. I am sure he will start his work, start talking to the players and get their thoughts,” he added.

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