Rohit on giving Avesh Khan the final over: ‘It’s all about giving the opportunity to these guys’
Captain Kohli backed the Indian batsmen to continue their high-intent approach despite their slump in the St. Kitts Test. west indies
West Indies needed 10 runs off six balls in the final over of the second T20I in St Kitts, to complete a series-leveling victory. They had five wickets in hand. India’s most experienced fast bowler had only bowled two overs but had only conceded 12 runs in his innings. It seemed like he would be the obvious choice to bowl the last over, but India captain Rohit Sharma decided to give the bat to Avesh Khan, who was playing just his 10th T20I. Avesh had picked up a wicket by yorking the runscorer in the 16th over, but he had gone on to score 19 runs in his first two overs.
Avesh overstepped with the first ball and gave away a free-hit that Devon Thomas scythed to cause a six-over cover. Thomas put the finishing touches on the fourth ball by rolling the fourth ball into the hoop, but Rohit wasn’t too bothered by the result because he believed that Avesh would learn something from the experience.
Rohit said after India lost the match that it is about giving these guys opportunities. We know what Bhuvneshwar Kumar can do for us. We have him doing it for so many years, but if you don’t allow guys like that to bowl, you will never know what it is like to bowl in death overs for India. They’ve done well for the IPL franchises, but here is another ball game. You have to see how they react to those situations, but that’s just one game.
I don’t think we need to panic about some stuff. I don’t think these guys need to panic because they are skilled. They have the skills, they have the talent, it’s just a matter of backing them and giving them the right opportunities to do what they can do.
Arshdeep was critical to India dragging the match to the last over. He had conceded a boundary to Australian opener Kyle Mayers, by playing a free-hit to Arshdeep. But he was outstanding at the death with his variation in pace, length, and angles. Rohit Sharma conceded only 10 runs in the 17th and 19th overs, while Hardik Pandya and the spinners also did their bit. Rohit was impressed by how India rallied very late in the game with the ball and was able to put the game on the board very easily.
We dragged it till the last ball and won it. That’s something that I’m proud of our team. When you are batting for a long-range target like that, it can be 13-14 overs or you drag it till the last ball. I think that’s what we did today. We dragged it till the last ball. That’s what we did today. We did our bit for the ball. We did that. We took it till the last ball of the over. Because the players kept fighting, it was important for us to be able to keep taking wickets at the same time. You have to plan how you are going to take wickets and you have to know how you will do that, and I thought the planning that we did – whatever we said – the guys came and executed it.
Rohit backs batters to maintain the ‘same intensity and same intent’
India posted 190 for 6 in the first T20I played on a Tarouba surface, even though the wickets kept falling steadily. India batted aggressively in the second Test in Basseterre, which was played on a challenging surface. However, they were bowled out for 138 despite having only two balls unused in their innings. Rohit stressed that India’s batting failure on Monday was not cause for concern and that they would not stray far from their gung-ho approach.
I am happy with the way the bowlers bowled. There are some things that we need to look at in our batting too, Rohit said. We will continue to play the way we do because we are trying hard to achieve something with the game. If you do not try, you will not achieve anything.
I think that if we do something odd, we should not panic. It’s just important that we help them get back on track and win the game. It’s just about giving those guys the chance to understand what is going on, and after one loss we are not trying to change anything. With each bat we try to play with as much intensity and intent as possible.
India lost three wickets on the powerplay after they were allowed to bat, but they still scored 56 runs during this phase. Pant was caught long-on by left-arm spinner Hosein. Hardik Pandya shot the ball quite a lot in the air, and also holed it out when he dared to try and hit against the wind and hit on the boundary. Ravindra Jadeja and Dinesh Karthik picked out their fielders as they searched for more boundaries. Rohit conceded that India’s scores were below par in the Test and that the batsmen would do better in the following game, which will also be played at the same venue, and possibly on the same pitch, on Tuesday.
There weren’t enough runs to go for us; we weren’t able to complete the target, but we didn’t do it properly. We didn’t bat well, I thought the pitch was playing quite nicely, but we didn’t try to work hard. But that’s not always going to happen. I’ve mentioned before that if you want to achieve something in your life or if you want to achieve something as a baseball group, you won’t always succeed. When you play games like that, you will understand what you could have done differently. This is something that we will try to learn from. We will try to figure out why we did what we did wrong in practice and see if we can fix those mistakes in the next game.
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west indies won the 5 wickets ( 4 balls left )