In the rain-affected 2021 final, which was played in front of a limited crowd due to the COVID-19 pandemic, India started the reserve day at 64 for 2. It included Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Rishabh Pant. And with R Ashwin still batting, India – leading by 32 runs at the start of the day – will look to set a challenging target. But they were bowled out for 170 an hour after lunch, giving New Zealand enough time to chase down the target of 139 runs.
On the fifth day, both Kohli and Rahane started playing balls that they would usually leave alone. If you combine Rohit’s decision to sweep as soon as Nathan Lyon came to bowl and Pujara’s call for an uppercut shortly afterwards with those dismissals, it all gave four of the best batsmen in modern Test cricket playing questionable shots. Added for.
Were those loose shots? Rohit broadly agrees, but he will not apologize for India’s aggressive approach. “We didn’t bat well – even this morning the batsmen hit some loose shots and because of that we couldn’t reach the target,” Rohit said after the game.
“(But) our message to the boys is to play freely – if there is a hit to be made, go for it; that is a simple message. Be it Test cricket or T20 cricket or ODI cricket, we should not play under pressure. If you look at the way we started in the second innings, Gill and I, the plan was to play positively and put the pressure back on them. That’s why we probably got 60 runs in ten overs, but if You play with that mentality, chances are you will also get out. When that happens, these lack of concentration comments come in. (But) it is not like that; we wanted to play in a different way.”
Rohit says, ‘Everyone prepared really well in the little time we had.’
Rohit agreed that the experienced players failed to make a difference in this match. “Look, I don’t want to be too critical about it because when we were here last time, a lot of the senior batsmen really lent their hand and carried us through the series,” Rohit said. “I mean things like this can happen. We’ve done really well over the last two years, whether we’ve played in Australia or England. But in one-on-one games, if you’re not mentally fit , then you can lose a game and that’s exactly what happened.
“We honestly wanted to do our best. Everyone prepared very well in the little time we had. That’s all you can do and expect in the time you have: prepare well. And get ready for the game. But when you have, in the top 5 or 6, batsmen who are quite experienced in these conditions, and they are not able to score big runs – maybe that is why we have to pay the price of the game. “Lay.”
Rohit pointed to Travis Head and Steven Smith’s 285-run partnership for the fourth wicket in the first innings, which gave Australia the lead that India was missing. “What happened in the opposition camp was that two of their batsmen scored big runs and put them in a position where they could fight. And the same was required from our side: a few batsmen, put their hands up and went ahead Getting those big runs and getting closer to our goals. That didn’t happen.”
But Rohit was clear that he found nothing wrong with India’s batting approach, especially while chasing the target on a pitch that was easier to bat on than the average fifth-day Test pitch. “When some people play a certain way, I don’t think it’s a lack of concentration. Sometimes you want to be ahead of the game, you want to take on the bowlers. Test cricket is played in a different way these days. And we also want to play like this.
“And it was a good pitch. You could play the shots you wanted. Of course, keeping in mind that if someone is bowling a really good spell, you try to respect that, but otherwise you have to You will have to try to do something different, break the rhythm of the bowler.
“And that’s what Travis Head did. He came in and played some shots and he really took them out of that discomfort zone, where after lunch, we got the wicket (of Marnus Labuschagne) on the first ball of the second over. We really got I thought we were way ahead of the game (after that wicket). And then the way Travis Head came in and played, he completely took the game away from us and we want to do the same.
“When you know the pitch is good, sometimes you have to let your conscience make those decisions in the middle. I don’t think it was a lack of concentration or anything like that. It happens sometimes that people Feel that they are comfortable playing certain shots and they are allowed to go and play those shots.”
India’s global title drought: Rohit wants to ‘do things differently’ in 2023 World Cup
With India now getting ready to host the 50-over World Cup later this year, Rohit said he wants his team to aim to do things “different”. “We want to do something different. We have played a lot of ICC tournaments and we have not won, so the intention is to play differently and do something different.”
“When the World Cup happens in October, our plan will be to play a different brand of cricket and do something different. We don’t want to think about winning it or think that this match is important or that match is important For the last eight-nine years we have been thinking like this – that this match is important or this event is important, and it is not happening for us. So we have to think differently and do things differently. Our message and focus will be to try to do things differently.”
Nagaraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo