Captain Rohit Sharma clearly stated that the ‘outside’ noise doesn’t have any effect inside the dressing room following India’s 96-run win over West Indies in the third and final ODI at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday.
India had the won first two games and this is the first time the Men in Blue completed a 3-0 whitewash over the Caribbeans in the 50-over format. Both teams will now head to Kolkata for a three-match T20 international series starting next week.
Indian cricket has witnessed some turbulent times following the end of Virat Kohli's leadership tenure. Rohit said, “The noise will be around as long as we are playing. We know we are playing a high-profile sport in India and people look up to us and watch us.
“As players and individuals, we know what we need to focus on,” said the stylish opener. “The outside noise doesn't bother the dressing room. As long as we can come out and do what we are expected to do, that is very important.” This was also Rohit’s debut ODI series win as a full-time captain.
Speaking about India’s performance in the series, Rohit was glad to accept that they got what they wanted from the three games. “We have ticked a lot of boxes this series. Whatever we wanted to get out of the series, we got what we wanted,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
The 110-run stand for the fourth wicket between Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant clearly set the tone for India before Chahar and Washington Sundar’s crucial knocks helped India cross the 250-run mark.
“With the top order not firing, it was good for the middle order to bail us out. Today they got us to a respectable total. This was the biggest positive,” added Rohit. The Mumbai Indians captain also heaped praise on pacer Prasidh Krishna, who took three wickets and was named Player of the Series for his nine scalps in three matches.
“We wanted bowlers to get bounce off the pitch, we had somebody who could come and bowl those lengths and ask those questions to the batters. It was good to see our fast bowlers, I was impressed even with Siraj the way he bowled. And Shardul, Deepak got the opportunity at different times.”
On wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who made a successful comeback after being on the sidelines for a while, Rohit said, “Both Kuldeep and Chahal are crucial players for us. They have done well together as a group, especially Kuldeep.
“Since Chahal was very much in the plan but Kuldeep went off the radar a little bit. It was important to get him back, and get him back slowly. We start expecting things little early, and we are pretty sure we can see them back together very soon,” he signed off.