Players standing up in difficult situation a big positive: Rohit Sharma on NZ series

Wellington: India’s stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma believes that the way players stood up in the difficult situations during the course of the five-match ODI series against New Zealand is a big positive for the team.

The 31-year-old said that they knew the New Zealand tour is going to be challenging while adding that clinching a series victory on opposition team’s home ground is “massive achievement” for them.

“Coming here in New Zealand and beating them 4-1 is a massive achievement for us. The teams have come here in the past and have struggled beating them on their home ground. They play good cricket, particularly at home. Winning the series is a great take away for us as the last time we came here we were thrashed four-nil,” Sharma said at a post-match press conference.

“We knew it is going to be a challenging tour. It was not easy but again we got to note that every now and then, when we needed somebody to put their hands up they did that. Be it spinners in first three games or pacers. Even today, getting 2 wickets in first 10 overs, spinners coming and sticking to their plans was a positive thing for us. We are sticking to our game plan which is why we are getting rewards. We are not trying to do anything differently,” he added.

Rayudu played a match-defining innings of 90 when the team was struggling in the final ODI against New Zealand. Sharma said that the knock would give a big boost to Rayudu’s confidence. He further hinted that Rayudu is one of the main contenders to grab the fourth spot in the team for the upcoming cricket World Cup.

“It must be a massive confidence booster for Rayudu to bat in a situation like that. When the team was down at 20 for 4, he bailed us out of the situation. He has played a lot of cricket a he used his experience, today. It is a massive confidence booster for him going forward,” Sharma said.

“I don’t want to comment on the World Cup as to who will be batting at four. It is not my thing to talk about but the way Rayudu batted and finished off things, he is looking very good at the moment. I just want him to continue playing like that. We still have five more games against Australia back home. I think if he bats the way he batted, it will be good for us,” he added.

Taking about the performance of new comer Shubman Gill in the series, Sharma said that he played just two odd games and it would be unfair to judge him on this basis.

“Shubman Gill is a really good talent. He has played Just two odd games and you can’t really judge him on this basis. He went out in a difficult situation but this will give him good learning,” Sharma said.

“He is a top order batsman and will be facing seaming deliveries. I think it is a great learning experience for him. He is a great talent, no doubt about this. He had played really well for India A ands I don’t see a reason why he can’t play longer for India,” he added.

India had defeated New Zealand by 35 runs in the final ODI to clinch the five-match series 4-1.