'Should have finished the job'

'Should have finished the job'
Rohit Sharma, who struck a 133-ball 150 in the first ODI and helplessly saw from the dressing room India crash to a five-run loss, admitted that he should have seen the hosts home as a set batsman.

Rohit fell at the start of the 47th over with India needing 35 from 24 balls after which India lost wickets in heap to lose the match.

“It is very important,” said Rohit here on Wednesday when asked if it was critical for him to bat till the end. “The top three or four batsmen have to bat as long as possible, especially while chasing. It’s important that one batter who is set and is hitting the ball really well, stays till the end.

“It makes life easier for other batsmen to come in and just nudge around, take singles and rotate the strike. It’s always hard for the new batsmen to come in and play shots from ball one, especially when you’re chasing.

“When you’re batting first, there is no pressure of the scoreboard. You’re just batting freely. When you’re chasing, especially I feel, you need to have at least one batter who is set to bat as long as possible. That’s been the idea, and we’ve done that really well in the past two years. It cannot happen every time, but that’s one thing we’ve always spoken about in our meetings,” he explained.

Rohit also conceded that death bowling was a concern for India, who gave away 86 runs in the last six overs in the first ODI. “See, it’s a concern, there’s no doubt,” he began. “We cannot run away from that. But, when you’re bowling to someone like AB de Villiers and all those kinds of players, you have to be extra smart and be more proactive, as to what they do and what kind of shots they play. It’s a concern, and I’m sure all the fast bowlers are working on it.”

Rohit pointed out that with change in ODI rules, where five fielders are allowed in the deep, unlike four not too long ago, the bowlers should be able to control the flow of runs. “I feel, in the last few games we’ve played, not only against South Africa but in Bangladesh and Australia as well, we were making small mistakes in the last five or ten overs. That shouldn’t be a concern now because we’ve one more extra fielder outside to work with. I’m sure we can plan accordingly and get the best results in our favour,” he reasoned.

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