Hosts cannot afford to keep committing small blunders if they are to become the No 1 side, says Rohit Sharma ahead of second ODI against South Africa today
Indore: Consistency is key to any team's success and opening batsman Rohit Sharma yesterday asserted that India cannot afford to commit small mistakes often if they aspire to be the numero uno cricket team in the world.
Currently ranked No 2 in ODIs, India snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the ODI series opener in Kanpur by succumbing to a close five-run loss against South Africa in a high-scoring affair.
Rohit said although India's death bowling and match finishing abilities were a concern, the players are mature enough to make a comeback in the series. "Things like this can happen but there are no excuses. We want to strive hard as a team. If we want to be the No 1 team we cannot commit these kinds of mistakes.
I hope we won't keep repeating the same mistakes, that's what a champion side doesn't do. We all are mature enough to go handle such situations," Rohit, who struck a swashbuckling 150 in India's losing cause in the first ODI, said.
Indian bowlers bled runs at the death, giving away more than 100 runs in the last 10 overs. Asked Rohit about India's bowling woes, he said Umesh Yadav and Co need to be smart and proactive against destructive batsmen like De Villiers. "It's (death bowling) a concern, there is no doubt about it.
Indian players indulge in a football session during practice at Indore yesterday. Pic/PTI
We cannot run away from that but when you are bowling to a player like De Villiers you need to be extra smart, and be more proactive. It's a concern but all the bowlers are working on it. In the last few games, not only against South Africa but in Bangladesh and Australia as well we made small, small mistakes in the last five overs," he said.
SA's gameplan against Rohit
Aware of Rohit's destructive abilities, South Africa's bowling coach Charl Langeveldt is busy working out a plan to dismiss the Indian batsman early. "At the moment he (Rohit) is really batting well. He bats well in Indian conditions. He is a great player.
The first 10 balls to him are important. You need to try and get him out in the first 10 balls. We will probably look to bowl the glory ball. He is one of those players who kicks on if he gets past 20," Langeveldt told reporters.
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