Team India will take on Bangladesh in their first-ever T20I series at home. The first T20I will take place at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi. With regular skipper Virat Kohli rested for the rubber as part of managing his workload, vice-captain Rohit Sharma will take over the reins of the side. He has led the side with aplomb in the limited opportunities he has got.
Speaking to the media ahead of the series opener in Delhi, Rohit talked about a whole host of things. The Indian captain conceded that Bangladesh who is yet to win a T20I against India will be missing their two senior pros in Tamim Iqbal and champion all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan but also admitted that Team India will not be taking the visitors lightly, paying tribute to their ability to punch above their weights in recent times and especially against the Men in Blue.
“Bangladesh is a very good team. All these years, we have seen how well they have performed, not just at home but away also whenever they have gone out. Especially against us, they have always put us under pressure. So, there’s no way we look this team differently,” Rohit Sharma said as quoted by Times Now. The 32-year-old also asserted that his style of leadership will be aimed at taking the team forward from where regular skipper Virat Kohli had left.
“My job as a captain is very simple — I just want to take the team forward from where Virat has left the team. What I have done at the limited opportunities that I have got is to maintain what Virat has done previously with the team. I am just trying to carry that forward,” he added.
Sanju or Dube, who will get the chance tomorrow?
The selectors have picked Sanju Samson and Shivam Dube in the squad for this series. When asked about which of the two will get an opportunity on Sunday, Rohit asserted that either of Samson or Dube will feature in the playing XI in the first T20I. “All doors are open for everyone and anyone can play at any point of time,” the stand-in captain said.
Need to focus on setting targets and defend them, says Rohit Sharma
One of the things that have been the nemesis for Team India in the past few years has been their inability to set-up targets in the first innings and defend them later on. And Rohit Sharma acknowledged the same, stating their focus is on improving themselves in this facet of the game, something they tried during the 3rd T20I against South Africa in Bengaluru.
“But something which we have been wanting to focus on was on posting targets and defending. That’s why, you saw us chosen to bat first on a sticky wicket in the last T20I against South Africa which we lost in Bengaluru. We wanted to challenge ourselves. That’s what we want to do. We want to set targets on difficult pitches and defend it.
We want to make sure we have all bases covered before the World Cup in Australia. This is the perfect time for us to do all that. But at the same time, we want to win games as well. It’s not about trying and giving. Winning games will always be a priority. We have not performed that well in T20Is…we want to be at the top in all three formats, we have set the standards and there’s no reason why we can’t achieve that,” he added.
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