Rohit Sharma Keeps Options Open Even If Hardik Pandya Unavailable

 - Sakshi Post

Mumbai, Nov 1 (IANS) Of the 11 ODIs that India have won at the Wankhede Stadium over the years, eight have come while chasing a target, proving that it is a good chasing ground. But in the two matches that South Africa played in the ongoing ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2023 at the Wankhede, they batted first and set a huge target.

So, what will Rohit Sharma like to do if he wins the toss against Sri Lanka on Thursday -- go by India's record at this ground or by recent example, the India skipper was asked on Wednesday.

Rohit said they will decide that only on Thursday morning after considering various factors that are likely to come into play in the match.

Rohit would love to chase in Wankhede, incidentally, his home ground, as India have won five of their six matches in this World Cup while chasing. However, they won their last match against England by defending a modest target.

"Honestly, I don't want to say what we're going to do tomorrow. But yeah, look, as Indian players, we've played in these conditions. We've batted first. We've chased targets. So, for us, I think this is a ground where things can be quite unpredictable at times like there's so much in it for the bowlers as well. So, you can see, probably a top spell coming from the bowlers, rattling the opposition, that can happen," Rohit said in the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

Rohit said that even though Wankhede is considered a high-scoring ground, at the same time, if the bowlers put the ball in the right areas, it can be slightly difficult.

"So, everyone gets value here, the bowlers, spinners as well, and the batters. But yeah, I mean, from the team's perspective, it was good for us to bat first in the last game and win the game. Even though we didn't post an over-par score or a par score, but our bowlers did a fantastic job, which they have been in the last six games. So yeah, we'll see. We'll assess in the morning and see how it is and we'll make the call whether to bat or bowl first," he said.

Rohit said he is keeping his options open regarding playing three spinners in a match, even if Hardik Pandya is not available. With Hardik there, he will act as the third seamer, giving the hosts the chance to bring in R Ashwin as the off-spinner to join Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.

"All sorts of combination is possible. You can still play with three spinners and two seamers if need be. I think in this tournament, in this World Cup, you've seen spinners actually are the ones who are stopping that run flow in the middle overs. I am keeping my options open whether we have Hardik or not at this point in time to play three spinners or not.

"If the situation demands for us to play three spinners, we will play three spinners. Because I feel spinners actually with a lot of skill set can put a break on the scoring rate in the middle overs if our spinners have got so much skill bowling in these conditions. So definitely a possible option for us. But like I said, we'll see whatever is necessary to make the right combination, the right play. We will do that," he said.

Asked whether they had any plans of resting the bowlers, Rohit said there were none at this moment.

"As far as the resting the bowlers is concerned, I think they are in great rhythm at this point. They don't want to rest. 'Body is fine'. And this is the feedback that I've gotten from all the bowlers. So, they are happy to play games," said the India captain.

West Indies and Australia have twice gone undefeated in winning the World Cup. As India has won six out of six matches so far, is the team determined to remain undefeated? Rohit said they are not looking so far ahead.

"No, we are not thinking of going that far, honestly. We just want to win every match. I have said this so many times, that for us, every match that we play is important. How we did well in that, what things we didn't do in the last match, how we can do in this match. Our focus is on that. And after that, we moved our vehicle forward. It won't be right for us to think about the future, that we have to go unbeaten and stay unbeaten. I don't think that is the goal. The goal is to play every game and play it well," he said.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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