India vs New Zealand: ODI century drought due to lack of matches, says Rohit

India vs New Zealand: ODI century drought due to lack of matches, says Rohit

India captain Rohit Sharma took aim at the broadcaster for not showing the right picture after slamming 101 in 85 balls as India completed a whitewash against New Zealand at Indore’s Holkar Stadium. It was Sharma’s first ODI hundred in three years.

“Three years sounds a lot but I have played only 12 ODIs in three years,” the skipper said after the game. “You guys should know what is happening. It was shown on the broadcast. Sometimes, we need to show the right things also. Last entire year, we didn’t play ODI cricket, we were focusing on T20 cricket a lot. Kabhi kabhi woh cheez bhi dhyan dena chahiye, broadcaster ko bhi sahi cheez dikhana chahiye (sometimes broadcasters should also convey the right picture).”

In fact, Sharma played 17 ODI over the last three years. After his hundred on Tuesday, he was asked whether this could be the return of the ‘Hitman’ with the bat. He responded that out of those three years, eight months were lost to Covid-19. “There were no matches. And then for most of the last 18 months, we have played T20 cricket. And in T20 cricket, there’s no better batsman than Suryakumar Yadav at the moment. He has hit two hundreds and I don’t think anyone else has. I have played two Tests since I was injured, so you have to put all of it in perspective.”

Captain @ImRo45 collects the trophy as #TeamIndia clinch the #INDvNZ ODI series 3⃣-0️⃣ ????????????????

Scorecard ▶️…@mastercardindia

— BCCI (@BCCI) January 24, 2023

Meanwhile, Sharma said the team management won’t be hurrying ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah’s return to international cricket from his back injury.

“I’m hoping that he plays the last two Test matches but again we don’t want to take any risk with him. Back injuries are always critical. We have got a lot of cricket coming up after that as well, we will see, we will monitor. We are in constant touch with doctors and physios at NCA (national Cricket Academy) and are constantly hearing from them,” he added.

Sharma praised his opening partner Shubhman Gill saying the Punjab batsman understands his game. Gill scored a double hundred followed by 112 off 78 balls in Indore. The openers put on 212 runs for the first wicket.

1⃣0⃣1⃣ Runs
8⃣5⃣ Balls
9⃣ Fours
6⃣ Sixes

Leading from the front – the @ImRo45 way ???? ???? #TeamIndia | #INDvNZ | @mastercardindia

Watch his majestic TON ???? ????

— BCCI (@BCCI) January 24, 2023

“He has got a great maturity in the way he thinks about the game, the way he approaches the game. The way he is batting in ODI cricket is just wonderful to watch. I just get the feeling that he understands his game really well and that is the key,” he said.

Sharma also commended Shardul Thakur for his ability to take wickets at crucial times. Thakur managed two consecutive wickets – Daryl Mitchell and Tom Latham – when the visitors were 184/2 at one stage of the big chase.

“He has got the knack of taking wickets at crucial times for us. We have seen it, not just in ODI cricket but also in Test cricket. There are so many instances that I remember, there is a partnership building from the opposition and he came in and got us through. He is very critical to us, we know where we stand as a team, what he brings to us is very critical,” the captain said.

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Talk about leading from the front! ????????

A magnificent century from #TeamIndia captain @ImRo45 ????

Follow the match ▶️…#INDvNZ | @mastercardindia

— BCCI (@BCCI) January 24, 2023

However, he revealed that it was Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya who planned Latham’s dismissal. “He has a good knuckle ball and he bowled it to Tom Latham today that was nicely planned in the middle by a few players. I was not included in that. It was Virat, Hardik and Shardul, so it was a good plan. At the end of the day, if a plan works for the team, we all are happy.”

India has now become the number one team in ODI rankings, but as per Sharma, ranking doesn’t matter. “I saw before the series, we were fourth. I don’t know how we were fourth firstly because the entire last year, I don’t think we lost any series, so I don’t know how this ranking happens. And we don’t honestly look too much into it. We are preparing for the big event (World Cup) and all these games that we play will lead us into that big event. And we want to be ready with everything.”

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