Rohit in awe of New Zealand’s bowling prowess

A lethal bowling attack that executes its plans to near perfection makes New Zealand one of the toughest places to play cricket, says top India batsman Rohit Sharma but also asserts that he is ready for the challenge coming up next month.
Rohit in awe of New Zealand’s bowling prowess
Rohit Sharma

New Delhi

After three hundreds, including a double against South Africa in his first Test series as an opener, Rohit will be facing an attack comprising Neil Wagner, Matt Henry, Trent Boult and Tim Southee in the two Test matches in Wellington and Christchurch in February.

“New Zealand is not the easiest place to play cricket. Last time, we lost the Test series (0-1) but we gave a good fight. But this bowling attack of ours is completely different from what we had back then,” Rohit said.

“For me personally, it’s going to be a challenge without doubt, facing the newball bowlers and the guys who bowl in the middle overs,” he said.

Rohit is aware that the ball might swing and seam much more outside India but the home series against South Africa last year was awelcome change in terms of what one expected of sub-continental tracks.

“Facing the new ball in any conditions is not that easy. Of course, it’s lot tougher outside India. But then, we played three Test matches against South Africa and I have never seen the ball swing so much in India like it did in Pune (second Test),” he recalled.

“The first few overs that they (SA) bowled, the pitch was damp and so they got pretty much everything out of it. In Ranchi (where he got a double hundred) also, we were three down in no time. But I know what to expect as I have been there the last time (2014 series). Not the easiest of conditions but I will be ready for that challenge,” he added.

Rohit has been keenly watching New Zealand’s recent series against Australia. Even though New Zealand was soundly thrashed 0-3, Rohit loved the fact that its bowling unit is more consistent in executing plans compared to some of the other international attacks. “...it comes up with plans and stick to them. It’s one thing to make a plan without being able to execute it and another to make a plan and implement it to the T. That makes a lethal bowling combination.”

India’s six-year drought at the ICC events does bother Rohit, who is hopeful that things will change for the better as soon as theyounger crop of cricketers play together for a considerable amount of time.

“Things are changing now. Shreyas (Iyer) is No.4 now and he is doing pretty well. Rishabh (Pant) did well in the West Indies ODIs. Shivam (Dube) has started doing well. So, I am confident, our youngsters will step up,” the 33-year-old said.

“The problem is that between KL (Rahul), Rishabh, Shreyas and Shivam, they haven’t played many matches together as a team. But that will happen now and once that happens, they will get some confidence.”

He is confident that Iyer will be playing morefearlessly now that he has somewhat made the No.4 position his own.

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