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“Very important player for the team”: Rohit Sharma on Virat Kohli’s role as a batsman in T20Is


Rohit Sharma addressed the media for the first time as Team India’s captain in T20Is on Tuesday. Rohit was part of a joint press conference with newly appointed India head coach Rahul Dravid ahead of the start of the three-match T20I series against New Zealand, which starts in Jaipur on Wednesday. Both Dravid and Rohit answered questions on a wide range of topics, including the template for the team in the shortest format going forward, and the importance of workload management for players playing all three formats. Asked about the role of former T20I captain Virat Kohli in the setup, Rohit said Kohli remains a very important player for the team.

“It’s very simple. Whatever he has done so far, his role in this team remains the same. The roles of each player change according to match conditions and all players, including Kohli, are open to it, the new captain insisted. Then you bat first, the role is different compared to when you bat second. Based on games we play, roles will keep changing and everyone is open to it.

“I’m sure when Virat comes back, it will only strengthen our team because of the experience and the kind of batsman he is, it will only contribute to our group,” said Rohit.

Rohit talked about the template he was going to set in T20Is, and Rohit talked about the need to define specific roles for players in T20Is, Rohit said he and Dravid will emphasize helping young people hone specific skills by similar roles in international, local and franchise cricket.

“There are holes we have to fill. It will be the biggest challenge for us. I’m not going to say we’re going to follow other teams’ template. We’ll do what suits us best. The players play a different role in Syed “Mushtaq Ali, franchises and in the national team. We have to define specific role for players,” said Rohit.

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Dravid, for whom this is the first assignment since taking over from Ravi Sahstri as head coach, said all formats are important to him and he wants the team to improve holistically. However, he mentioned that ICC tournaments are important and the team will prepare for that.

“We do not prioritize at all. All three formats are equally important to us. Of course, with ICC tournaments ahead, we need to prepare for that. In terms of vision, we will look to improve in general,” Dravid said.

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