Rohit Sharma concerned about India's death bowling
The Indian skipper reinforced what has been a major headache for the side prior to the T20 World Cup in Australia.
Echoing similar feelings from the T20I series against Australia after securing an unassailable 2-0 lead in the one versus South Africa, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma deemed his team's death bowling struggles as a worry heading towards the T20 World Cup.
Rohit said while the problem is not overly "concerning" for him since the men at the task are India's best possible fast-bowling options, the skipper still expects the likes of Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to "pick up" their execution.
These three, expected to shoulder the pace burden of India's main T20 World Cup touring party along with the ace Jasprit Bumrah, have fallen under scrutiny for their end-overs execution.
Arshdeep and Harshal, who are playing the T20Is versus Proteas, went for 2/62 and 0/45 in their four overs, respectively, in India's win by 16 runs in the second match of the series in Guwahati. Since their inclusion to the T20I set-up, both the seamers have been taken for plenty at the death, with Arshdeep recording an ER of 8.53 and Harshal going for 10.92.
Then there is the curious case of Bhuvneshwar, rested from the South Africa series, who has been failing to exercise control and leash on run-scoring throughout the year. Once a bankable option for India at the death, the veteran quick has gone for 11.37 runs an over at the death in T20Is in 2022.
Rohit expects India to 'get our act together' at the death
Rohit Sharma didn't single out names but reinforced death-overs bowling woes as a big headache prior to the T20 World Cup in Australia. The Indian skipper took heart from the fact that his team's batters have dented the opposition's spirits in the same phase by posting huge scores. But addressed question marks on his own team's bowling problems with honesty.
"Yes, we have not bowled well at the death in the last five or six games," Rohit said at the post-match presentation after India's win in Assam. "We are doing the same to the opposition as well. To bowl and bat at the death is very tough. That is where the game is decided. It is not concerning, but we need to pick ourselves and get our act together."
While recognising death bowling as a problem, Rohit was pleased to see Indian batters continue on their aggressive ways. Since the arrival of coach Rahul Dravid last November, India have tried to implement a constantly attacking method, aimed to maximise their time out in the middle without stretching individual knocks, with Rohit leading the pack via intent and gumption.
"It is something that all of came together and said was what we wanted to do as a team. It might not come across at times, but we want to stick to it," the captain said, with India posting a mammoth 237/3 in their 20 overs in Guwahati. "What I have seen in the last 8-10 months is individuals putting their hand up and getting the job done for the team. Guys without too much experience did this as well. The team wants to play and bowl in a certain way and we want to give them that confidence."
One player whose game has taken wings out of this approach is Suryakumar Yadav, arguably India's best T20I batter right now. The right-hander continued his excellent run in Guwahati and smashed 62 off 22 balls against a South African attack, including Kagiso Rabada.
Rohit joked he is thinking of protecting the player and unleashing him straight on October 23 now, when India kick-off their T20 World Cup campaign against Pakistan.
"I am thinking of not playing Surya anymore and play him directly on 23rd. This is how is game is and we just want to keep him happy," he said.