Ahead of the much-anticipated first Test against England in Hyderabad, Indian captain Rohit Sharma has made it clear that his team is not paying much attention to England’s aggressive “Bazball” approach to Test cricket. Instead, the focus is on playing to their own strengths and executing their own plans.
“We’ll look to play our cricket,” Rohit Sharma asserted to the media. “I’m not interested in looking at how the opposition is going to play and all of that. For us, we must look into our cricket. Focus on what we need to do as a team and then take it from there.”
This statement reflects India’s confidence in their own abilities and their determination to not get drawn into the hype surrounding England’s Bazball tactics, which have been successful on bouncy, seam-friendly pitches but remain untested on Indian soil.
Another point of interest in the Indian team is the wicketkeeping role. KL Rahul, who has been donning the gloves since his return from injury last year, will be playing as a specialist batter in this series. This opens up the wicketkeeping slot for KS Bharat and the uncapped Dhruv Jurel.
Rohit Sharma remained tight-lipped about who will take the gloves, stating that the decision will be based on individual performances and what is best for the team.
“Yeah, obviously those are the two keepers [Bharat and Jurel] in the squad,” he said. “We’ll see and assess the performance. We are obviously looking at the bigger picture. We want to give as many games as possible to the individual. But we’ll assess after every game what happens and what is right for the team. Whatever is right for the team will do the necessary things.”
This decision adds an element of intrigue to the series, as both Bharat and Jurel will be eager to impress and stake their claim for the permanent wicketkeeping spot.
Rohit Sharma also took the opportunity to praise two key players: Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Siraj. “Ashwin and Siraj have been important players for us,” he stated. “Siraj has come through the ranks in the last two years, he has taken his game to another level. Ashwin is class, every time he takes the field he impresses all of us.”
Ashwin’s exceptional bowling skills and Siraj’s remarkable rise in the past couple of years are crucial factors that will contribute to India’s success in the upcoming series.