Don’t want to read too much into SA’s warm-up loss: Rohit

Rohit Sharma says the Indian team is not reading too much into South Africa’s surprise loss in the warm-up game and feels it will be a big challenge to beat of “one of the most consistent sides across formant” when the series begins with the T2O International here on Friday.

“These are practice games. The teams field their best combination and try out reserves as well. I don’t want to read too much into yesterday’s result. Because every team is trying something or the other (in the warm-up games). It is better that we don’t look much into it. They are one of the strongest sides, in all formats and not in just T20,” said Rohit during a media interaction at the scenic HPCA stadium.

India A had humbled South Africans in a practice game in Delhi yesterday.

When asked about India not playing enough T2Os, Rohit said: “I agree that we have not played many T20s as a team but considering the fact that lot of guys have been playing in IPL, they are ready. We use that experience (of playing in IPL). Having said that, it will be a challenge for us to regroup in the format.

Rohit said that focus will be on the ICC World T20 which will be held in five months time.

“The World Cup is round the corner so we have to make the most out of T20 games we play from now on. It will be a challenge for them (South Africa) as well, considering they have also not played a lot of T20 Internationals,” said the stylish right-hander.

South Africa T20 captain Faf du Plessis was pleasantly surprised that the tour opener will played on a fast and bouncy pitch here. When asked how India are preparing to face the visitors’ pace attack, Rohit said the unit is focussing both on spin and pace.

“It is not only pace. They have got quality spinners too. They will be effective here. It is better to focus on all aspects,” he said referring to the Imran Tahir-led spin attack.

He went on to say that frequent overseas tours have helped the batsmen tackle pace better.

“The past couple of years we have mostly played outside India. It has given us a lot confidence no matter what the attack is or the conditions are. The tours outside have helped us evolve as batsman,” Rohit pointed out.

Talking about the game on Friday, Rohit said the team is better prepared than South Africans, having come here earlier than scheduled.

“We have gotten used to the conditions. We have come here early, gotten into the group. We have practised really hard in last few days, working on all departments of the game.

“Plus coming here and playing in such a beautiful venue is wonderful. It is definitely among the top five stadiums in in the world. I have not seen anything like this outside India,” he said.