Pune, October 9: India skipper Virat Kohli said on Wednesday (October 9) that Rohit Sharma, who made twin hundreds in the first Test at Viskhapatnam against South Africa, is in great space now as a batsman and should not be pressurised with unnecessary focus on him.
Kohli was speaking to reporters ahead of the second Test against the Proteas starting here from Thursday (October 10).
1. On the form of Rohit Sharma
"Come on! Give the guy a break now. He has done well. Let him enjoy his batting at the top of the order. Let him have fun like he does in white-ball cricket. Stop focussing on what Rohit is going to do in Tests. He is in a great space. He looked relaxed in the first Test which is a great thing. All the experience he has accumulated over the years came to the fore. He is feeling absolutely at home at the top of the order. For us, the team, it's a huge bonus," said Kohli.
2. On the importance of Rohit
"If you see the way he played in the 2nd innings, the way he has the ability to take the tempo of the game forward, that allows the bowlers to have an extra hour and a half of maybe 2 hours to bowl the opposition out. So, look if a guy like him at the top order plays the way he did in the first Test, we are going to be in situations from where we can go for victories in most of the Test matches," said Kohli.
3. Ashwin-Jadeja, first choice
"In India, Ashwin and Jadeja are going to be our first-choice spinners. They also contribute so much with the bat as well. It's purely combination. A lot has been said and spoken about the system that we have followed in the last two years. The only thing that matters to us is wanting to win as many games as we can.
"We don't want to be rigid in our thinking saying this is how we need to go forward. We want to be flexible. It can't be possible if the team doesn't buy into it. The players have bought into it and people are just wanting to contribute. No one is self-centered. It is the same with Kuldeep as well. He understands the combination. For us, it's about finding the best balance," Kohli said.
4. The winning mindset of Team India
"We are a team that looks for answers and not excuses. So maybe that's the reason why we keep improving and we have been winning so many Test matches. We don't take anything for granted for sure. We can very well be losing 4-5 wickets in a session, so we know that as well as a team. And we work pretty hard on our game also, even though we play in our home conditions. I think the mindset is key for us. And that's to win every game that we play and not to focus on what the conditions are," Kohli said.