‘It will be nice to have a left-hander but I don’t believe too much in it’: Rohit Sharma

A debate has started about the Indian ODI team: in the absence of Rishabh Pant, expected to be in rehab for a long time after the car accident, should India try to get in Ishan Kishan in the team? He is ultra-aggressive and a left-hander – both traits not common in the top order. Also, more importantly, Kishan’s presence as a wicketkeeper allows India to find a way to get in Suryakumar Yadav.

In the post-match presentation after his team beat Sri Lanka in the second ODI to win the series, the captain Rohit Sharma was asked about the presence of a left-handed batsman.

“It’ll be nice to have a left-hander, but I don’t believe too much into it. Ideally we would like to have a left-hander, but we know the quality of the right-handers who are out there in the middle. They can tackle situations when put under pressure.”

Rohit also took the opportunity to reiterate again how much he values KL Rahul.

“KL [Rahul] has been batting at five for a long period of time now and it gives us the depth. Gives you the confidence as well at the top of the order for us to go and bat freely. It was a good display of batsmanship … It was a close game but games like these teach you a lost. We had to build an innings under pressure.”

Rahul also spoke about the message given to him by Rohit Sharma.

“At No. 5 you will be facing spin, I like the ball coming on to the bat. Ro (Rohit) is pretty clear that’s where he wants me to bat (No. 5) and conveyed that to me,” Rahul said. “One thing I really enjoy [about batting at No. 5] is that you don’t rush back to bat (compared to the role of an opener). You can put your feet up, have a shower, have a good meal and react to the situation. If the team requires me to bat at a certain strike rate I try and do it to the best of my ability. More often than not just try and do the job the team wants has been my mindset.”

He also detailed his mindset when he went to bat in the chase.

“When I went in to bat last game we were in a comfortable position. We lost 4 wickets today, so it was important to soak in the pressure and ensure their main bowlers don’t get into the game early. We didn’t need to attack today.”

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