Rohit Sharma played down concerns of left-arm pace for Indian batters as Mitchell Starc returned figures of 5/53 with his excellent swing and seam to power Australia to a series-levelling 10-wicket win over India in the second one-day international at Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
The left-arm quick, rattled the Indian batting with his pace and swing to bundle out the opposition for just 117 in only 26 overs. Starc led the team’s lethal attack with the wicket of Shubman Gill for a duck after the tourists decided to bowl first after overnight rain.
Two successive strikes from Starc to get returning skipper Rohit Sharma for 13 and then Suryakumar Yadav, out for a second straight first-ball duck, pushed India onto the back foot. KL Rahul played out the hat-trick ball but lasted for just 11 more deliveries before falling leg before wicket to Starc, who returned figures of 4/31 in his first spell of six overs.
Starc wrapped up the innings with his ninth ODI five-wicket haul. Axar Patel, who came into the team in place of Shardul Thakur, was unbeaten on 29 after hitting two sixes.
“When you have a quality bowler in the opposition, he is bound to take wickets,” Rohit Sharma said in the post-match press conference.
“He is trying his best to get your best players out. Whether it’s a left-armer or a right-armer, they will get wickets. The right-armers have troubled us well, nobody talks about it. We don’t look too much into the left-arm or the right-arm – wickets are wickets.”
“If you lose wickets, it is a concern. We will look into all sorts of things: how we are getting out, what we need to do, how we can come up with better plans, better methods against the seamers,”
“When things don’t happen, there are a lot of thoughts that can come (in). But we try and get the best players out there in the middle to go and face this challenge. It didn’t work out today for us, maybe it won’t be the same in Chennai, who knows. You know, the last six ODIs, if I remember a lot of the top order (batters) got big runs. When we really need to look into it, we will definitely look into it,” Rohit added.
On Suryakumar Yadav
In 23 ODI innings, Suryakumar has just twice reached the 50-run mark, and in his previous 10 innings. During India’s current three-match ODI series at home against Australia, Starc dismissed Suryakumar lbw for a golden duck in each of the first two games.
“Yes he got out in the last two games and the series before that as well, but he needs that consistent run, like back-to-back games, 7-8 or 10 games like that, so that he feels more comfortable,” Rohit said after India’s 10-wicket loss to Australia on Sunday.
“Right now, he has got in the place when someone’s been injured or someone’s not available. As management we can look into the performance when you give that consistent run and then you feel that okay, the runs are not coming and (he’s) not looking comfortable.
“Then, we will start thinking about it. Right now, we have not gone that route.”
For a place in the XI, Suryakumar is vying with batters like Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, and KL Rahul. Rohit said that the batter would be given more chances to showcase his skills in the format.
“We don’t know about Iyer’s return. At this time there is a spot available so we have to play him (Suryakumar). He has obviously shown a lot of potential with white-ball and I have said it many times before, guys with potential will be given some run,” Rohit said.
“Of course, he knows what he needs to do while in a slightly longer format of the game as well. I think things are there in his mind as well. Like I said, guys with potential will have enough run where you know they should not feel that ‘okay, you know I wasn’t given enough chances in that particular slot’.”
Watch his press conference here.
With inputs from AFP and ICC.