New Delhi, Oct 10: Ahead of India’s second match in 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup against Afghanistan at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, batting coach Vikram Rathour stated that the biggest strength of this side is its adaptability as per any conditions presented to it during the course of the tournament, where it’s scheduled to play in different venues across the country.
"I think that is the biggest advantage we have. We have the personnel to play on different surfaces. We can go with three seamers, all-rounders, or three very good spinners in the team and we have the batting unit which can adapt and play in any condition."
"So, at the moment I think we are doing well as far as the team is concerned, everybody is fit. Hopefully (Shubman) Gill will be back in the mix pretty soon. So, no concerns and we understand it's nine different venues and nine different wickets. But the strength of this team is adaptability. I think we can adapt really well,” said Rathour in the pre-match press conference.
With New Delhi seeing a whooping total of 754 runs scored in just 569 balls with South Africa posting 428-5 against Sri Lanka, the highest score in ODI World Cup history, one can expect for a run-fest on Wednesday. It means the onus lies on Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan to go big from the word go.
Kishan, seen a flexible batting option, was summoned to open in Gill’s absence at Chennai, but flashed hard at a wide delivery from Mitchell Starc to fall for a duck. “No, he has opened in the past and he has played as an opener. So, no specific discussion on that. He understands the moment.”
"That was the reason he has been in the team. We knew that he can bat top of the order or in the middle order. So, he has done that before. So, no specific discussion on that. Just hoping that he comes good tomorrow."
Asked if the Indian team was told to take their time with the bat, in the light of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul rescuing India from 2-3 to chase down 200 with a match-winning 165-run stand in Chennai, Rathour said the batters have been given freedom to decide their batting approach.
"We have a very experienced batting unit at the moment. I don't think that message is required. Everyone knows how they have to play in this format. We have a very settled batting unit at the moment. Everyone has their own way."
"We are giving them the freedom to play the way they want to play. And we understand that everybody has a different way of playing. But everyone has their own way of playing and we have the trust that if they play and back themselves, we will achieve what we are looking to achieve."
Rathour also made it clear that India are preparing for tackling every Afghanistan player, and not just limited to specific names. “We’re not looking at players names. We are looking to do our things right.”
"We are trying to focus on the process and we have the belief that the team that we have, if we can do our things right and just focus on the process and not worry on the result, we’ll achieve what we are trying to achieve. At the moment also we are looking to play good cricket and hoping that if we do that, everything will be fine."
"We don't know how tomorrow is going to be, how the wicket will play and what the situation will be. But we look to do the best we can. If we bat first, we look to put up as many runs as possible and if we bowl first, we'll try and get them out as early as possible."
Quizzed on Suryakumar Yadav getting a chance in the playing eleven, Rathour remarked the swashbuckling right-handed batter will come in if needed in a certain game. “Whoever is being given the opportunity, I think the belief of team management is that he should get proper opportunity. We need to back everyone.”
"Whoever is playing should get enough opportunity. If there is a situation where we feel that Surya should be brought in, again he has been batting really well. He has been playing well, he is preparing well. So, if we feel that Surya should be brought in, we will definitely play him."
Rathour signed off by saying Rahul will continue to be at number five. “No, not at the moment because he is doing so well at number 5 and Shreyas has done really well for us at number 4. So absolutely no temptations.” (IANS)