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India vs Australia | Will Welcome Khawaja With Short Stuff: Rohit

Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma sent out a warning to Usman Khawaja that India might "welcome him with short stuff" after the left-hander was rattled by West Indies pacers in Australia's last game.

Cricketnext Staff |June 8, 2019, 8:33 PM IST
India vs Australia | Will Welcome Khawaja With Short Stuff: Rohit

Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma sent out a warning to Usman Khawaja that India might "welcome him with short stuff" after the left-hander was rattled by West Indies pacers in Australia's last game.

The likes of Oshane Thomas, Andre Russell and Sheldon Cottrell targetted Australian top-order with short deliveries and reduced them to 38 for 4 before Steve Smith and Nathan Coulter-Nile came to their rescue. However, Rohit also suggested that Indian bowlers won't go overboard with short stuff and will keep Australian batsmen guessing by mixing their lengths.

"We saw a bit of that game when these guys were playing. See, short ball for any batsman is not easy, even the best guy who can pull the ball, who can hook the ball will find it difficult. So it's not easy. We understand that. And probably we have the bowling attack to do that," said Rohit ahead of India's encounter against Australia on Sunday.

"You know, again, having said that, you don't want to be carried away with that. We've got to understand the conditions and make sure that you keep the batsmen guessing all the time, which is probably our idea to do that. Yes, there will be short stuff bowled, but at the same time, we can't forget the batsmen, most of the batsmen that get out is from that three-meter length. That is what the basic is.

"We will see the condition and we'll see what the batsman is doing at that particular time. If he's finding it uncomfortable, of course we will welcome him with that short stuff, but of course those guys play short ball really well. They come from Australia where the bounce is nice and high. So yeah, I mean, we'll see how it goes on that particular day and see if that is going to work for us or not."

India commenced their 2019 World Cup campaign in superb fashion as they defeated South Africa by six wickets. It was Rohit who starred with the bat, scoring an unbeaten 122. The 32-year-old has a great record against Australia, averaging over 61.

Rohit however made it clear that the history will matter little as he is someone who cares more about the present.

"I've had a good time, but again, I'm somebody who will not look too much in the future as to what has happened. Of course it gives me the confidence to go into the game knowing that, but for me, that particular day will be important, which is tomorrow. So I have to be ready and make sure that I get the job done for the team.

"What we have done in the past is past, so I think we as a team totally believe that we have to be particularly better on that particular day. Yes, we've had good rivalry between the two teams in the last few months that we played good competition between bat and ball. We played really good cricket in Australia, they played really good cricket in India. So it's going to be a great contest.

"We have to be good on that day, and we will try and focus on that particular aspect rather than thinking what sort of record we have on this particular ground. I think it doesn't matter, we have to quickly assess the conditions because condition is playing a huge part in this World Cup as we have seen. For us, it will be the same. Just turn up and try and have a good day, do your skills, basics right and then things will follow."

The two teams have already played two ODI series this year. While India got the better of Australia Down Under, the Aaron Finch-led side returned the favour a few months later when they travelled to India.

"We've had success against each other. We had success in Australia, they had success in India recently. But again, tomorrow's game will all depend on how we play on that particular day. I guess it's the same for them, as well, because we have seen one or two individuals can take the game away from you.

"What we have done in the past is past. We have to be good on that particular day, which is tomorrow, and we will try and focus on that, because I totally believe that because it's World Cup and the format is such that you play different opposition every time, and it's not a Bilateral Series, so you have to focus on that particular day and that particular team on that day. We have done our preparation. We have had a good chat about what we want to do as a team, and yes, probably we all are ready for the game tomorrow."

Rohit also backed KL Rahul to come good at No. 4. The Karnataka batsman only scored 26 against South Africa but Rohir believes he will have a good tournament.

"It might not seem that he didn't get big runs, but that 26 was as good as getting 50-plus runs on that pitch because like I said, it wasn't easy. But he looked good, and he looks confident from his approach, whatever you see of him, how he goes about his training, from whatever chats we've had with him.

"He feels very confident in his game, and he knows exactly what needs to be done in this particular condition and at that No. 4 position because more often than not he will be coming to bat at No. 4 where the ball will be doing slightly, and being an opener, it's a good advantage for him to get used to that condition quickly, and he's got a technique, as well, to bat there.

"You know, I believe it's going to be a good tournament for him."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
see more