India’s long-term goal is to reach the final of the World Test Championship: Rohit Sharma

India captain Rohit Sharma said Monday his team’s long-term goal is to reach the final of the ongoing Test World Championships and they are ready to accept the way Rishabh beats Pant for his sheer ability, within a matter of minutes minutes to be a game changer .

Rohit also underscored the point that Pant was asked to respect the conditions and game situation and that the batsman has gotten better with his game plans.

“We know how he hits and as a team we just want to give him the freedom to hit how he wants to hit. But also think about certain situations of the game that the game goes into, that we conveyed that for him, but we want to stick to his game plan as a team,” Rohit said at the post-game press conference.

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“It just seems to be getting better and better, his game plans. There will be times when you bang your head and say ‘why did he play that shot’ but again we have to be willing to accept that with him when he bats.”

Rohit said the fact that his impact on a game is instantaneous, they are willing to let him bat any way he wants.

“He’s someone who can literally change the game in half an hour or 40 minutes of play. I think what’s coming with Rishabh Pant we’re ready to accept that,” he said.

“His posture was the best I’ve ever seen. He did well when England came last year and he seems to get better every time he saves wickets for India so I was really impressed with that.

“And also the DRS calls, (he) seems to be making the right calls. DRS, as we all know, is like a lottery. There are certain aspects of the game that I told him and that’s about it. DRS calls are not something you will always get right, there will be times when you make calls wrong, but that’s absolutely fine.

Rohit said since he wasn’t much captain in red ball it was a big deal for him to lead in Tests. It was his first series after Virat Kohli gave up his leadership role.

“There are a few high-level members on the team who understand the game well and had their input as well. I also have my reading of the game. But after all you work on instinct and my captaincy philosophy is to take a call on point that seems right to you given where the game is going. I try to analyze these things on the ground,” he said.

BUMRAH PERFORMANCE: Bumrah even put the Lankan batters under pressure on a dry field tailored for spinners. He took five wickets in the first innings and three in the second tower.

Rohit said the pacemaker’s performance was without a doubt great.

“Coming out in those conditions and bowling like that shows how much skill and ability he has. Someone like Bumrah is never out of the game, no matter the conditions,” said the captain.

“To bowl on certain fields, you need certain skills. And he seems to bring those skills into play depending on what kind of support he has off the field.

“With Mohali we saw a different type of pitch and it was still effective. This was a different kind of pitch.

Bumrah has mostly played abroad in the Test format and Rohit said keeping bowlers fresh and ready is essential.

“To keep an eye on everything, the workload, we have to rotate these guys. They play non-stop and we have to take care of them. So he missed a lot of games.

“You will see many Bumrah Tests play in India and also abroad in the coming years. But like I said, we have to take really good care of these guys and make sure they’re fresh so they can come out and perform like these guys did here. We always want to keep them fresh. That’s the challenge for us.”

“But honestly we can’t look that far ahead because it doesn’t work that way. We have to look to the present and make sure that there are a few steps up to climbing to reach this place. Achieving these small goals is very important to us.

“After losing the series in SA it was crucial for us to make an impact and get those crucial points for ourselves.

“We were missing two of our experienced batsmen (Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane) but beating Hanuma Vihari in a new position was a challenge.

“And beating Iyer with six shots was another challenge but he showed a lot of maturity in the way he played on those challenging wickets. We accomplished pretty much everything we wanted as a team, boxes were ticked.”

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