Rohit: India not lacking confidence


Rohit Sharma said India are not short of confidence despite their defeat to Australia in the first one-day international, but stressed that they must develop a knack of picking up wickets in the middle of the innings.

Rohit made a magnificent 171 not out from 163 balls at the WACA on Monday to break Viv Richards' long-standing record for the highest ODI score against Australia in Australia as the tourists posted 309-3, but his exploits proved to be in vain.

Captain Steve Smith (149) and George Bailey (112) put on 242 for the third wicket before the world champions sealed a five-wicket victory with five balls to spare.

India were beaten 3-2 by South Africa in their last ODI series, but Rohit said spirits are high ahead of the second ODI at the Gabba on Friday and the opener spoke of the importance of making inroads in the middle order to prevent their opponents from taking charge. 

"Our morale is very good because we played very good cricket [in Perth], and we know that," Rohit said.

"Only thing is we need to learn how to take wickets in the middle. How to build the pressure in the middle overs, that is something we need to be aware of. Whoever is bowling in the middle, spinners or fast bowlers, just need to make it a habit of making breakthrough in the middle because it is very important.

"If wickets fall in the middle then it affects the momentum of the opposition team. That is what we need to do this game because we batted well, we bowled well with the new ball, but were halted in the middle because we didn't take wickets in the middle. That is what we have to learn."

Rohit also defended Virat Kohli's strike rate during his knock of 91 from 97 balls.

"To be honest, when you bat first you actually don't know what is a defendable score," Rohit added. "You get 340, and again it is not a safe score anymore.

"When we were batting in the middle the idea was to capitalise and bat as long as possible because we have got a couple of newcomers in the middle order. So the top three batsmen - myself, Virat and Shikhar [Dhawan] - it is a big responsibility on the three of us to bat as long as possible.

"When we bat we know that we are not too worried about the strike rate because we always know that we could cover in the end, and that's exactly what happened.

"In the last 10 overs we scored about 90-95 runs. So I think 309 was a pretty good score on that track, but the Aussies batted really well to get that score, and if you don't take wickets in the middle it is always going to be difficult especially here in Australia."