India can’t afford mistakes like in first ODI: Rohit

Indore: India batsman Rohit Sharma said on Tuesday the team can’t afford to make mistakes like they did in the first One-Day International (ODI) against South Africa, if they are to become the No.1 side in the world.

India is currently ranked second behind world champions Australia in International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI team rankings.

The home side trail the five-match series 0-1 against the Proteas after suffering a narrow five-run loss at Kanpur. Rohit Sharma’s swashbuckling knock of 150 runs off 133 deliveries went in vain as India let slip the advantage to slump to the loss.

“There is no excuse. We want to strive hard as a team and for becoming No.1 we can’t make these sorts of mistakes. I hope we won’t keep repeating these kinds of mistakes. That’s what a champion side doesn’t do. We all are mature enough to handle the situation and pressure,” Rohit said at the pre-match press conference ahead of the second ODI here on Wednesday.

The hosts are yet to taste victory since South Africa’s arrival in the country, having lost two Twenty20 Internationals, with the third one abandoned due to rain in Kolkata.

Speaking on his sublime form, he said, “I always try to bat as long as possible. Not only in India but also outside. It has been my aim and motto to bat as deep as possible and take the team to a winning position.”

Rohit and Ajinkya Rahane (60) kept India in the hunt with a 149-run stand for the second wicket on Sunday in the first ODI. He said though their partnership was the key to India’s chase, he felt they should have added more runs when they were together.

“Me and Rahane had a talk on how to go about things. We batted well but I still feel we should have scored a bit more during our innings. We were in a winning position and we all know what happened at the end. But it is a part and parcel of the game,” the Mumbai batsman said.

Speaking about his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan, who has not been amongst the runs in the T20 series and the first ODI, the 28-year-old said, “He was the highest run-getter for us in the World Cup. He was the highest run-getter in Bangladesh.”

“Couple of games shouldn’t be a worry. He is probably our better batsman in the last few years. If you see the amount of runs he scored he is batting like he is doing before,” Rohit concluded.