CUTTACK: Disappointed that his maiden T20I century went in vain, Indian opener Rohit Sharma on Sunday said they would come back all guns blazing to stay alive in the three-match series against South Africa on Monday.
Rohit’s 106 propelled India to 199/5 after being put into bat, but the Faf du Plessis-led side romped home by seven wickets in Dharamsala to lead the series 1-0.
“It was a good knock but we lost the game. I am pretty disappointed, it was unfortunate. No matter how much you scored, if you don’t win, your efforts are not counted, nothing really matters to me.
“I’m sure we will come back strong. Overall, there’s a room for improvement, I’m sure the guys have learnt from it and they will come back stronger. We have to do a lot of things right whether it’s batting or bowling, and come out all guns blazing,” Rohit told mediapersons on the eve of their second T20I at Barabati Stadium.
India opted for a three plus two seam-spin combination for the first game and barring off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin all the other bowlers conceded 10-plus runs an over.
Rohit said India opted for a three seam attack because of the green top but the dew took it away from them.
“There was a little bit of grass covering on the wicket and we thought there would be a bit of more seam movement but the dew took it away.
“I know they’re not too experienced but it’s the same with the South African attack. But when you play these kind of tournaments, you grow as a cricketer,” he said.
“Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) has played quite a bit of late, Mohit has been a part of the team for a while now. (Sreenath) Aravind has just come in but he has been a proven character in domestic circuit.
“We cannot take credit away from seamers but the dew made it difficult. Overall, there’s a room for improvement, I’m sure the guys have learnt from it and they will come back stronger,” he added.
Left-arm spinner Axar Patel conceded 22 runs in the 16th over to turn the tide for Proteas but Rohit backed their young bowlers.
“Our spinners are experienced enough, understood the line and length to bowl. We have to wait and see what the management thinks about how to go about it,” he said replying to a query whether three-spin attack is the way forward.
“These guys know what exactly is expected from them. I’m sure they are trying their best to come out (of the loss), take wickets and be aggressive. Sometimes, things don’t go your way. Dew made it difficult but don’t want to look it an excuse.”
On the right bowling combination, Rohit said it’s for skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to decide.
“It depends on the captain and what he’s comfortable with. Having threes spinners or seamers. We have to play to their weakness. We know they are not so good against spinners but we have done some against their batters. We have to see what the captain thinks.”
For somebody with the highest ODI score of 264, Rohit, who has joined the other Indian batter Suresh Raina to have centuries in all the three formats, is still not in his best in the Test format.
“It’s the same effort I put in all the three formats, whether it’s Tests, ODIs or T20Is. It’s always the same mindset, about going and scoring runs and making the contribution. There›s always been an effort to put the right foot forward and get the best what I can.
“I actually cannot differentiate between Test and limited overs. My mindset is always the same and will always remain the same, which is to go and score runs and make your team win.
“I’ve not changed a bit… It’s just a slight adjustment in the mental aspect of the game. When it comes to wide ball, you play more freely. In Tests, you have to play a waiting game. It’s a five-day game, you have to be a bit patient. But in the limited overs, you have to be on the move from ball one.
“I like to assess the situation first and then go after my shots. I don’t like to change too much. My gameplan is pretty simple. Once I know what›s happening I take it from there.”