Port of Spain: India skipper Rohit Sharma felt that the side not getting results in previous editions of Men’s T20 World Cups doesn’t imply that India have been playing bad cricket and were conservative in their mindset.
Since winning the inaugural edition of the Men’s T20 World Cup in 2007, India haven’t been able to clinch the trophy. In last year’s T20 World Cup at the UAE, India went into the tournament as favourites but made an early exit in the Super 10 stage.
“We haven’t got the results in the World Cups but that doesn’t mean we were playing bad cricket for so many years. I don’t agree that we were playing conservative cricket. If you lose one odd game in the World Cup, it seems we were doing things wrong and we did not take our chances. But if you look at overall games, we have played leading into the World Cup, we won probably 80 per cent of our games. If you are conservative, then I can’t understand that how you are going to win these many games. We lost the World Cup, didn’t qualify. It does happen, but that does not happen we were not playing freely or were scared. Lately, it is not like we have completely made changes. We have just given players the freedom to play their game, express themselves and not take any pressure. If you play freely, performances will come out,” said Sharma ahead of first T20I.
Sharma also requested people outside the Indian team to be patient in getting consistent results from them. “The people on the outside should maintain peace. The way we are playing cricket, there will be failures and results might not go our way, but it is okay as we are trying something and making effort to do something different.
“It can happen that mistakes take place but that does not mean that the players are bad and team is not good. It’s just that we are trying to do something new. With time, everyone has to change. We are changing, so people on the outside also need to change their mind.”
Sharma admitted that there were some spots in the Indian team which need to be nailed in the run-up to the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November and has asked for the players in the T20I series against the West Indies to play freely as if they are playing for their state or franchise sides.
“There are some spots that we need to fill. But we also know what we need to do to fill them. We will try to address all the issues in the coming matches. We want to give boys the freedom and tell them to play the way they want to. We can talk about preparation and technique, but when match time is on, the players should be left alone when the match comes. We just tell and want them to play like they do when playing for franchises or state teams. When you don’t take that much pressure there, then do the same here as well. There’s different pressure of international cricket. Our job is to reduce or completely eliminate the pressure. We are just trying to create an environment where guys can play freely and not think much about their performances.”