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Lucky to have Rohit take over leadership, says Dravid

Source: PTI
February 19, 2023 17:35 IST
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'He (Rohit) doesn't speak a lot, but when he does they all listen'

'We are very lucky to have Rohit take over the leadership from someone like Virat'

Rohit Sharma

IMAGE: Rohit Sharma took over after Virat Kohli quit as India's Test captain following a series defeat in South Africa in January 2021. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

India head coach Rahul Dravid on Sunday said the team was 'very lucky' to have someone like Rohit Sharma taking over the captaincy from a player of the calibre of Virat Kohli.


Rohit took over after Kohli quit as India's Test captain following a series defeat in South Africa in January 2021.

Hailing Rohit's captaincy after India retained the Boder-Gavaskar Trophy with a six-wicket win over Australia in the second Test here on Sunday, Dravid said the Mumbaikar has the respect of the dressing room.

"He is one of those guys who has been there a long time. The kind of person who doesn't speak a lot, but when he does they all listen."

"He deeply cares a lot about the dressing room and the players. We are very lucky to have Rohit take over the leadership from someone like Virat," Dravid said after the match.

Skipper Rohit hailed the spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin for "finishing" the job for India.

Jadeja returned with a career-best 7/42 and, along with Ravichandran Ashwin (3/59), accounted for all the wickets to bundle out Australia for a paltry 113 in their second innings.

"Looking at how things were yesterday, the way we came back and finished our job was great," Rohit said at the post-match presentation.

"Even if we were just one run behind, I felt we were trailing because we had to bat last.

"The bowlers were fantastic, to take nine wickets today morning is commendable. And then we finished the job with the bat."

From being overnight 61/1, Australia were bundled out in the first session of the third day.

"Every game you play in this type of weather, there is some moisture. What I noticed is there is a lot to offer in the first session, but as it goes on it gets slower and there isn't enough bite."

"So our focus was keeping it tight in the morning, and these guys are the masters of bowling in these conditions."

"On a pitch like this, people need to do something different. We were prepared for them coming out and playing shots."

"Our idea was to not panic and just hit the right areas, waiting for the mistake to happen and that's exactly what happened."

Rohit said the partnerships between Jadeja-Virat Kohli and Axar Patel-Ashwin gave them the winning edge.

"There are lot of moments across four innings, but I thought the partnership between Jadeja and Virat, and then Axar-Ash was brilliant. That's a big help because of the balance we have created for ourselves."

Dravid said: "We wanted to chase something close to 200-225 and that partnership enabled us to get back, or we'd have been trailing."

Dravid further said their bowlers leaked too many runs in the final session of day two and credited them for coming back in the first session on Sunday.

"A bit of a downer to concede too many runs in the evening, I think we bowled probably wrong and were all over the place, and they came hard at us, but we course-corrected this morning. It was just brilliant then how the game moved.

Sweep not a good option on Kotla track: Jadeja

Ravichandran Ashwin

IMAGE: Matthew Renshaw out leg before to Ravichandran Ashwin. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Australia's ploy to tackle spin with pre-determined sweep shots backfired and player of the match Jadeja said it was not a good option on the slow and low Kolta track.

"These wickets suit me because the odd ball spins and some stay low. I knew they'd play sweeps and reverse sweeps, so my idea was just about keeping it simple and straight.

"I knew they were looking for runs, so the plan was just bowling into the stumps. If they make a mistake, I have a chance. Don't think the sweep is a good option against me on this kind of wicket."

The loss dashed Australia's hopes of breaking their 19-year drought to win a series in India.

On their batters getting out to the sweep shot, Australian skipper Pat Cummins said: "Everyone controls their own game, some balls just have your name."

"But we need a review on the shot choice, did we do things right? Both games were disappointing, this one in particular. We were ahead in the game and that doesn't happen often in India. This loss hurts," he signed off. 

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