Hyderabad: Ahead of the first Test match between India and England at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, skipper Rohit Sharma on Wednesday said that they are not interested in how their opposition is going to play.
While speaking at the pre-match press conference, Rohit was asked about England’s ‘Bazball’ to which the 36-year-old said that they are more focused on what they can do as a team.
“We will look to play our cricket. I am not interested in how the opposition is going to play. I am focused on what we want to do as a team,” Rohit said.
The skipper said that the win against South Africa in Cape Town was “good” and it gave them confidence.
He added that it will be challenging to play good and consistent cricket throughout the five-match Test series.
“The Cape Town win was good but that was Cape Town and this is Hyderabad, completely different conditions. But the atmosphere is pretty good and that’s what happens when you win matches. That win gave us confidence. It was a good, short game. We have played five Tests in England. In India, it is the first time that we will be playing five Tests. We always wanted to play longer series. It’s going to be a challenge to play good and consistent cricket for 2 months,” he added.
When asked about Shoaib Bashir’s visa delay, Rohit hoped that he would get it quickly.
“I feel for him. He’s probably coming for the first time. Not easy for anyone. Unfortunately, I don’t sit in the Visa office to give you more details on that. But hope he gets in quickly and enjoys our country,” he added.
Bashir was born in England’s Surrey and holds a British passport, but due to his Pakistani heritage, the bowler was facing trouble entering India for the five-match Test series.
The five-match Test series between India and England begins on January 25 in Hyderabad with the next four matches to be played in Vizag, Rajkot, Ranchi and Dharamsala.
Patidar to replace Kohli
Right-handed batter Rajat Patidar on Wednesday has been called up to replace Virat Kohli in the first two Test matches, according to Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sources.
Patidar made his international debut on December 21 last year against South Africa in the third ODI match, where he opened for the ‘Men in Blue’ and scored 22 runs from 16 balls with a strike rate of 137.50. Meanwhile, last week, Patidar appeared for India A and scored 151 against the England Lions in Ahmedabad. The right-handed batter is currently in his top form which would help the hosts in the upcoming Test series against England. However, the 30-year-old batter is yet to make his Test debut for India.
England name three spinners
The visitors announced their first 11 with English bowler Tom Hartley set to make his Test debut.
The visitors named three spinners, including Jack Leach, Rehan Ahmed, and Hartley for the upcoming Test match against India.
On the other hand, Mark Wood has been picked as the only seam bowler in the side, which means legendary pacer James Anderson will not take part in the long-format game in Hyderabad.
Ollie Pope and Ben Foakes have also been included in the first eleven after not being involved in England’s last Test against Australia at The Oval.