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Rohit Sharma – ‘There was clear grit and determination to win every game’ under Virat Kohli’s captaincy


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India’s new white-ball captain says the team “couldn’t get that extra inch” to win an ICC trophy after the 2013 Champions Trophy

Rohit Sharma enjoyed “each and every moment” that he played under outgoing white-ball captain Virat Kohli, and still continues to do so.

In an interaction with bcci.tv, Rohit spoke about how the team had a “great time” under Kohli, who led for nearly five years.

“Five years that he led the team, he led from the front every time, we stepped on to the park, and there was clear grit and determination to win every game, that was the message to the entire squad,” Rohit said on the sidelines of the India Test squad’s training session ahead of the South Africa tour.

“We have had a great time playing under him and I have played a lot of cricket under him, I have enjoyed each and every moment, still continue to do that.”

The Indian team has copped criticism for not being able to win an ICC trophy since the 2013 Champions Trophy despite having proven and consistent match-winners in the ranks.

“There are lot of things that we need to do right before we think of end result. The last ICC trophy (Champions Trophy), we won was in 2013,” Rohit said. “But I don’t see anything wrong that we did after that Champions Trophy. We played well and performed as a team but just that we couldn’t get that extra inch.

“That can happen as international cricket is very demanding but that’s the challenge as we are all professionals. Lot of World Cups are coming and India will be eyeing to do well in lot of them. Our focus is on winning championship but there is a process that we need to follow as a group.

“If you need to win the championship, there are lot of other things that you first need to take care of, then focus on the end goal.”

The focus will be on getting better as a player first and then collectively as a team, Rohit added. “When challenges are there and how you come out of those tough challenges is very important and I think, in the past we have been put in those situations before, where we have been 10 for 3 or 15 for 2 or something like that, we failed to recover. That’s something that we need to keep in mind moving forward, it’s one of the areas.”
One of his primary tasks is to ensure that each player is aware of why he has been picked in the team and what is expected of him. “I have got limited opportunities to lead team India but whenever I have got an opportunity, I have tried to keep it simple, tried to keep one thing in common: clear communication to players.

“I have tried making sure that they understand their roles, and that is what it is all about, understanding that role and going out there and performing that role. Because for us – coach and captain – it is important that we have clear communication and that is what I want to do, making people understand why they have been picked in the team.”

Rohit and Rahul Dravid worked together during the three-match T20I series against New Zealand and the new captain is very happy with the start the two have had. “Working with Rahul bhai, it was three-odd games but it was fantastic,” Rohit said. “We know how he has played his cricket, hard and tough. There has been a sense of relaxation as well, because it is important to keep the atmosphere light and cheerful.”



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