India captain Rohit Sharma was pleased by the efforts of India’s bowlers but believes there is still room for improvement with regard to the consistency in where the bowlers want to pitch the ball. On Monday, the Indian bowlers put the concerns about their recently off-colour death bowling to rest as they defeated defending champions and hosts Australia by six runs in their first warm-up match at Brisbane ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
In fact, Australia were on course for a comfortable win thanks to a well-set Aaron Finch’s 54-ball 78. In the last two overs, Australia needed 16 runs off the last 12 balls with six wickets in hand but Harshal Patel, Mohammad Shami on his return and Virat Kohli the fielder scripted an eventful comeback for India.
Although the seamers picked up wickets at regular intervals, Arshdeep Singh and Harshal Patel did concede runs at an overall economy rate of over 10.00 in their quota of three overs.
Talking about the bowling performance, Rohit said, “Definitely there is room for improvement for sure [in the bowling unit]. We are on it, but I’d like to see more consistency in terms of where we want to pitch the ball because you know when you play back home and when you play in Australian conditions, you got to change your tactics change your lengths a little bit. Sometimes just keeping it simple coming and hitting that ball hard on the deck will be a good option and something that we’ve been working on and speaking to the guys about.”
He added, “Overall I thought it was a good, good game for us. Like I said it was a good pitch. You know they had a decent partnership in the middle which put us under pressure a little bit. But overall the last three, four overs of us was very good.”
Talking about Shami’s return wherein he bowled the solitary last over in the match and picked up a fantastic three-for four, Rohit after the match said, “Honestly he’s coming back after a long time. So we wanted to just give him an over. This was always the plan from the beginning. He comes in bowls at the death. We know how lethal he can be with the new ball, but we just wanted to give him a little bit of challenge coming and bowling that death over and you saw what he did.”
While bowling in the bigger grounds in Australia is a different challenge in itself, the batting approach too needs to be approached differently. Rohit, who mistimed the ball with the bottom of the bat and was caught at deep midwicket for 15, spoke about the need of good running between the wickets.
He said, “Yeah, absolutely (cannot mishit while going for sixes at large venues). I think you’ve got to be smart when you plan your batting on grounds like this, you know, hitting boundaries and sixes, of course it’s sounds nice but you cannot forget pushing the ball in the gap and running between the wickets really hard and trying to get still eight- nine runs in an over.”
“That’s also quite an effective plan that you can have as a batting group and it is something that we’ve been talking of. When we played in Perth as well a couple of practice games we’ve wanted to specifically practice on the large side of the ground and you know, it was a great practice for us today,” he added.
India next take on New Zealand in their second warm-up match at Brisbane on Wednesday, October 19 before they begin the tournament officially with the opener against Pakistan at Melbourne on Sunday, October 23.