IPL auction is over, time to focus on colour 'blue': Rohit Sharma
Kolkata/UNI: India white-ball skipper Rohit Sharma on Tuesday said that the Indian Premier League (IPL) mega auction is over and the focus of players, who are in squad for the T20I series against West Indies, should be on the colour 'blue'.
India and West Indies will play three T20Is here at the Eden Gardens, starting February 16.
"It was understood players would go through ups and downs due to auction, but that was done day before. Yesterday we'd a great meeting and just asked everyone to focus on colour blue for next two weeks. It's all about India now, nothing else matters," said Rohit at a virtual press conference.
India had experimented with Rishabh Pant to open the batting along with Rohit in the absence of Shikhar Dhawan, who missed the first two ODIs due to Covid-19.
When asked whether the management will continue to try out different tactics, Rohit said the team is now focusing on giving game time to young players.
"Experimentation is an overrated term. We're trying to address holes in our squad and we'll do that. Lot of players are young, so we can't keep experimenting. We need to give them game time, surety. Once we've that, then try whatever," he said.
"Idea is to identify who will play World Cup and give them game time. Some players are injured and some are unavailable. For this series, just got to get everyone ready, injuries are bound to happen. What we need from players for India is more important. We need to get the roles right here, this series is for that. Mindset needs to be bat, bowl in a fashion for World Cup. Clarity given to them, up to them to get maximum results," he said.
Talking about Hardik Pandya's role in the line-up when he returns to the India squad, Rohit said, "He's an important player, brings three skills. But we haven't discussed too much, for us important is players being available. From there, we will see skillsets. The door is open for all, we will look at combinations for Australia (host of T20 World Cup). Conditions in Australia at different venues are different, we will plan keeping in mind all that."
When asked about the role of 'Kulcha' duo - Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav - in the scheme of things, the India captain termed them a "great asset" and said they are wicket-taking options.
Rohit further highlighted that sometimes players with multiple skills get preference in the shortest format.
"They've been a great asset, things should start falling in place for them. It starts with us, giving them confidence, game time. We will try and do that. Also in the shortest format, we need bowlers who can bat as well. Players who can do 2-3 different things. That is where sometimes others get preference," he said.
"But these two are wicket-taking options no doubt, that is their role. It's for us and them to make sure they get into that rhythm. Chahal, I can see that he's already there. Kuldeep will need time because he was out with injury for a while. Rhythm for wrist-spinner takes a bit of time. Fingers crossed for both," Rohit signed off.