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Rohit Believes 'He Doesn't Need to Change' His Game to Improve in Test Cricket

PTI | Updated: January 30, 2018, 7:28 PM IST
Rohit Believes 'He Doesn't Need to Change' His Game to Improve in Test Cricket

Rohit Sharma (AFP Photo)

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Durban: Rohit Sharma has not not been able to replicate his rich limited overs form in Test matches but he says it doesn't mean that he needs to make drastic changes in his game for the five-day format.

Rohit has smashed a double hundred in ODIs and joint-fastest century in T20s against Sri Lanka but runs deserted him in the first Two Tests in South Africa before he was dropped for the third Test.

"Its not that I don't try much in Test cricket. I give the same effort in all the formats that I play, but sometimes it comes and sometimes it doesn't. But that doesn't mean that you have to change things too much," said vice-captain Rohit ahead of the first ODI on Thursday.

"You've got to believe in yourself, you've come so far and played and got success. I've been in a difficult situation before many times, so for me its all about taking it one game at a time and responding to situations.

"There will always be times when things are not going your way, and then when things are going your way, it is important for you to keep things going," he said.

Being an integral part of the ODI, he is itching to perform in the six-match series.

"I'm not going to talk about Test cricket so much because its over now, and we have a big job at hand winning the ODI series here. Every batsman who will be taking part in this ODI series will have a huge role to play. I'm here to make an impact in the series."

Rohit said the visitors are keen to win a first-ever bilateral ODI series in South Africa. India need to win this series if they are to topple South Africa from the top spot in the ODI rankings.

"We are very keen to win this ODI series. But it is a long series; it is a six-match series. I think its been a while since we played a six-match series. We cannot think too far ahead.

"It is important to do a lot of things right. There will be times when we will be put under pressure but as a team we have shown that we can absorb that pressure and come back, he said.

At the same time we have shown that if we put pressure back on the opposition they tend to crumble. We are going to try to use it to our advantage."

The last time India played an ODI series in South Africa (in 2013), they lost three-match series 2-0. Rohit said the top-order will have to come good and reverse the form from last tour.

"There are two things into it. The first thing is when we came last time, our guys were inexperienced and had hardly played in overseas conditions. It does matter because the lengths that you bowl in India and the lengths that you bowl overseas are slightly different.

"Now all these bowlers have enough experience and they've got the job done in Test series as well. They created history by taking all 60 wickets in the Test series. Our bowling has shown enough courage and it is a plus for the bowling unit. So it will be a different ball game this time around." ]

When asked about Indias poor record in ODIs at Durban, Rohit said, I don't think these things matter because so many things change. The teams have changed. The generations have changed. It's a 50-over game, so you get time. Even if the first 10 overs go bad, you can always come back.

"We can't give up on the situation. Whoever comes into bat must remember that the team has to be kept in the game. These small things are important as opposed to the past records."

Talking about his ODI form, Rohit said he is enjoying playing the shorter formats at the moment.

"Of course the last six-seven months have been really great. Since the Champions Trophy in England, we've had a great run except for the loss against Pakistan (in the final).

"That was a little disappointing. But yes, since then its been a good run. I hope I can continue and put the team in a good situation. We want to get those victories away from home."

The ODI specialists arrived in South Africa during the third Test in Johannesburg. The team travelled to Durban together on Monday. And on Tuesday, at the Kingsmead Oval,they got down to serious work in the nets ahead of the first match.

Most noticeably, the contenders for three middle-order spots MS Dhoni, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Shreyas Iyer and Kedar Jadhav all had long hits in the middle against both pace and spin.

"More than the technical aspect of the game it is mentally that you need to tell yourself that the shots you played in Tests and shots you play in ODIs are different," he said

With less than 15 months to for the 2019 ODI World Cup, Rohit said that the tournament in England is at the back of the Indian teams mind.

"I believe it will be a great way to start the series thinking about the 2019 World Cup which will be played in England. Now we know that we will be playing a lot of cricket overseas, and we can take that into our stride and move forward.

"We are not thinking too much about the World Cup right now. But in the back of our mind it is always going to be there because we can test ourselves how we respond to situations and how we respond to those conditions out there, he said.

"As far as each individual is concerned, they have been given specific roles and its a long way to go for the World Cup. There is one and a half years still, and there will be a lot of games to be played. It will be important how each individual thinks about what he wants to do," he added.
First Published: January 30, 2018, 7:04 PM IST
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