Rohit Sharma had missed the rescheduled fifth Test against England after testing positive for COVID-19, but he has now recovered and hence would be leading the side in the first T20I of the three-match series on Thursday in Southampton. For the first game, the likes of Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, and Jasprit Bumrah would not be available, but the senior pros would be back from the second game onwards.
Rohit addressed a press conference on Wednesday and he spoke on a variety of topics, including the preparation of the team, the fifth Test which India lost by seven wickets, and “exciting prospect” Umran Malik.
“My recovery from COVID-19 was good, eight-nine days have passed since the time I tested positive for COVID. We have seen that every player who tested positive for COVID-19 responded differently, I do not know what will happen going forward, but right now I am feeling fine. I started training three days back so that is why I decided to play the first T20I game. I do not have any symptoms, all my tests have come back as negative and now I am looking forward to the game,” said Rohit.
“It was very hard to watch from the sidelines, it is never easy when you miss games, especially an important game like that where the series was on the line for us. But speaking of symptoms, I was struggling a little bit for a couple of days but I am happy that I am standing back on my feet nice and healthy as I look forward to this T20I series. It is always nice to get back playing and I am excited to be on the field and getting along with the boys,” he added.
Talking about pacer Umran Malik, Rohit said: “He is very much in our plans, it is just trying to give him that understanding as to what the team requires from him as well. Yes, there will be times where we want to try out a few guys and Umran is definitely one of those guys, keeping one eye on the World Cup, we want to see what he has to offer for us. He is definitely an exciting prospect, there is no doubt about it. We all saw during the IPL, he can bowl fast. It is about giving him that role, whether we want to give him the new ball or we want to use him at the backend, when you play for franchises, the role is different as compared to when you play for the national team. It is just about understanding how you can fit in those individuals and give them clarity.”
When asked about the upcoming series, Rohit said: “Of course, keeping one eye on the World Cup. I would not say it is preparation, every game for India matters to us. So we want to come here and tick every box and make sure that we get the job done. As much as we want to keep one eye on the World Cup, we want to make sure we are getting the job done here as well. Yes, there are younger players who are getting opportunities to represent the country. Coming off through the performances for state teams, IPL, they deserve their opportunity. England is going to be a very challenging team for us. We will look forward to the T20I series and then the ODI series against England as well,” he added.
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