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‘Can’t depend on just one bowler’ – Rohit Sharma on lack of support for Jasprit Bumrah
By SMCS - Dec 29, 2023 9:25 am
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Team India captain, Rohit Sharma wanted to erase the memories of India’s poor show at Centurion within an hour of the game. However, this was India’s worst performances in a Test in the last half decade, they were outperformed with both bat and ball as South Africa won by an innings and 32 runs.

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah cleaned up Kasgiso Rabada

Rohit Sharma believes Jasprit Bumrah – who claimed a four-fer – wasn’t adequately supported by the rest of the pace attack and allowed South Africa to take a massive first innings lead as well.

“We’re going to go and analyse and think what went wrong and talk to individuals, but it’s important to leave a loss like this here and not take it with us to Cape Town. This wasn’t a 400-run wicket,” Rohit admitted on Friday following India’s loss. “The way the wicket was behaving, we conceded a lot of runs. It happens. We can’t depend on just one bowler. It’s important that the other three bowlers also do well. The way the opposition bowled, there’s a lot to learn from that.

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He further added, “Bumrah bowled well. All he wanted was a bit of support from the other end, which he didn’t get. That happens. All the other three bowlers were trying very hard, bending their backs, but it just didn’t work out. It didn’t happen the way we would’ve wanted to. But again, games like these teach what you need to do as a bowling group. Hopefully, they understand what went wrong and try and come back stronger in the next game.”

After conceding a 163-run lead, India failed to do well with the bat where Rohit Sharma failed at the top. However, the India captain doesn’t believe the batting failure of the team had to do as much with technical issues as it was with personal preparation as well.

“When you come in such conditions, it’s important for you to have confidence in yourself even more than the technique. Mentally, if you trust yourself and your game on what you need to do. It’s important to have individual plans in such venues and such a country. Everyone has a different kind of technique, so you can’t tell everyone how to play. It’s important to come here with individual plans. If you want to score runs and do well, individual plans are more important than techniques, to study their bowlers, their strengths,” Rohit Sharma again shared.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul scores a century in Cenurion

He lauded KL Rahul’s performance in the first innings and said that it stood as a fine example of the kind of intent with which he wants the team to bat in the next as well.

“What KL Rahul did in the first innings is the perfect example of the intent, at the same time respecting the conditions as well. At the end of the day, he scored runs at a strike rate of 71, and he put the bad balls away. That is what we talk about intent. We don’t want to just go and swing our bats. If there are conditions we’ll do that. There is a very thin line. Every individual is quite different and we try to talk to every individual in the way they want to play. Obviously, keeping the conditions in mind, what better they can do as well. It’s a mixture of everything – intent, a little bit of discipline, that extra temperament. When you come to places like this, with conditions like that, you need to have all kinds of things in your mind. You got to go and adapt and know that there will be times when the bowlers will be tired, and try to cash in,” he expressed.

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Despite India’s poor show in Centurion, he is hopeful that the team can bounce back as well. He also gave the example of India’s performance in the 2020-21 Test series in Australia.

“These performances happen. It’s not like we don’t know how to bat outside India. There are times when the opposition is better prepared than us. The opposition played better than us and that’s why they won. It’s not always going to be happy days for the captain. On days like these, the captain needs to stand up and get around the team more than anything else… We can learn from what went wrong. But when you take the job, you will have days like this. I have full confidence in the guys we have here now. But now it’s about getting together and standing for each other,” Rohit Sharma concluded.