Cricket-India batters must get ready to grind in WTC final v Australia – Rohit

Cricket – ICC World Test Championship Final – India Practice Session – The Oval, London, Britain – June 4, 2023 India’s Rohit Sharma during practice Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

LONDON (Reuters) – India’s batters should be prepared to grind out runs in tricky English conditions against Australia’s fiery pace attack in the World Test Championship (WTC) final at the Oval, skipper Rohit Sharma said on Monday.

Facing a prodigiously swinging Dukes ball fired by Pat Cummins or Mitchell Starc would be a totally different experience for Rohit’s team mates most of whom were busy in the Indian Premier League T20 c9ompetition until last week.

Rohit mastered these conditions during the 2019 World Cup when he smashed five hundreds in nine innings and, two years later, stroked a match-winning century in an Oval test against England.

“England, in general, is pretty challenging conditions for the batters, but as long as you are prepared to have a good grind you can have some success as a batter,” he said ahead of the WTC final beginning on Wednesday.

The key was not to be lulled into any false sense of security while batting, he said.

“One thing I realised batting here was you are never in actually, because the weather keeps changing a lot.

“So you’ve got to keep concentrating for longer periods of time and that is the challenge of this format.”

“You’ll get that intuition when it is your time to take the bowlers on and that is when you should be ready for it.”

Rohit is particularly keen to capitalise on his strength square off the wicket.

“We know that this is probably one of the best batting wickets, as well you get value for your shots, you know the square boundaries are quite quick,” he said.

With Jasprit Bumrah recovering from a back surgery, Mohammed Shami will lead the pace attack for India who were beaten by New Zealand in the inaugural WTC final in Southampton two years ago.

Indian have yet to make up their mind about fielding second spinner Ravichandran Ashwin along with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja but Australia’s Steve Smith ruled out being complacent against them.

“They’ve got a good mix of quality seam bowlers,” he told reporters. “Shami and (Mohammed) Siraj are their main guys, who have really good skills. I think the Dukes ball suits them nicely.

“Then obviously their spinners as well, who bowl really well in all conditions.

“So I think they are a good attack, and we are going to have to play well against them this week.”



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