India captain Rohit Sharma is happy that his team is “moving in the right direction” and ticking all the right boxes but doesn’t want complacency to creep in with just three months left for the T20 World Cup in Australia.
India have won a fourth consecutive series under Rohit’s captaincy and with an aggressive batting and bowling approach on display in the powerplay, they crushed England by 50 and 49 runs respectively in the first two games of the three-match T20I series.
“We are moving in the right direction and ticking the right boxes,” a happy Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony when asked about how he is feeling with the mega-event just months away. However, he had a note of caution for his men.
“The only red flag I see is we can’t get carried away,” he said. The skipper was all praise for his team’s approach in the powerplay both with bat and ball.
“We do understand the importance of the powerplay, whether we bat or bowl. Our powerplay in both games was superb and [it would] give guys confidence to continue,” he said.
India take an unassailable 2-0 series lead 🎉
— ICC (@ICC) July 9, 2022
For the India skipper, 170 on this Edgbaston track was a par score. “Was good to finish on a score we thought was par on that surface,” Rohit said. Winning is a nice feeling but for Rohit, the more important aspect was how to carry the momentum.
“When you win games, it’s always nice. The group is also confident, which is very important. We will look to continue and focus on what lies ahead. Wanted to see how we do after a win and will look to challenge us as a group,” he said.
Beating England in England isn’t the easiest of propositions but India have now beaten the home team in four T20I series (two in India and two in England).
“We all know how good they (England) are wherever they go, not just in England. We were clear what we wanted to do.” Under Rohit, Ravindra Jadeja has been used more as a batter who can bowl and the Saurashtra all-rounder has adapted to his new role well.
“Brilliant knock under pressure (from Jadeja) and Jadeja with his experience of the hundred in this ground was calm and collective. At no point, did we feel he was panicking. We do want to give the guys sitting on the bench some chances and will go and discuss this with the coach.”
“When ball swings, you definitely enjoy” – Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, since the start of the South Africa series, has been in good form and he didn’t hesitate in saying that the white kookaburra was doing much more during this T20I series than some of the white ball games that he had played in earlier years.
“When ball swings, you definitely enjoy. In the last few years, there is not much help with the ball in England but this year it’s more. White ball getting swing upfront is a motivational factor for fast bowler and batters have to take their chances,” the senior seamer said.
— BCCI (@BCCI) July 9, 2022
He has now removed Jos Buttler in both the games and that had a lot to do with getting movement first up. “We know Buttler is a dangerous player. If ball swings I go for a wicket and it works. If ball swings, it motivates you to do things against a particular batsman.
“Honestly, I don’t want to talk about injuries. If anyone asks me the same in India, I don’t answer it, sorry. I am playing so it seems it’s good,” Bhuvneshwar added.
Disappointing first T20I series as full-time captain for Buttler
England captain Buttler had no hesitation in admitting that it was disappointing for his team, having conceded the series with a match to go. “Very disappointing,” he said.
“We didn’t play anywhere well we wanted and deserved to lose. Any time you lose three wickets in the powerplay it is hard to catch up.” He lavished praise on 34-year-old debutant Richard Gleeson.
Richard Gleeson’s IT20 debut:
1️⃣6️⃣ dot balls
And just the 3️⃣ wickets of Pant, Kohli and Sharma.
— England’s Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) July 9, 2022
“Not just the wickets but the guys he got out, overall a fantastic debut. He has bowled fantastically well. CJ (Chris Jordan) always bowls the pressure overs and the figures can sometimes cloud what he’s doing.”
“We don’t have much time to reflect on it as the next game is tomorrow,” he said.