Leading India ‘a different ball game’

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Stand in India skipper Rohit Sharma expects leading his country to be very different from captaining the Mumbai Indians in the IPL.

Rohit was appointed skipper of India for the limited overs series against Sri Lanka with Virat Kohli set to take a well earned break ahead of the tour to South Africa.

Speaking ahead of the first ODI in Dharamsala Rohit said: “I think it [leading India] will be a different ball game altogether.

“But the process and the basics of captaincy leading any team will remain the same. These are [a] different set of players to the ones I had in the IPL – this is completely different.

“But, having played with these guys for quite some time now, I do understand their strengths and weaknesses. So it will be all about going there and executing and making everyone comfortable.”

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Rohit feels that one of his Mumbai Indians charges, Jasprit Bumrah, has had an incredible year which culminated in a call-up to the Test squad.

Bumrah is one of five frontline seamers selected for the Test series in South Africa.

Rohit added: “I think it’s a great boost for him [Bumrah] to be part of the Test team.

“I think he was looking forward to it. For a while he has been wanting to be part of the Test team. It’s all the reward for what he has done in the ODI format and T20 format.

“Over the last year or so, how he has improved himself on his bowling and his fitness as well it is reward for all of those things. It’s a lesson for many cricketers that if you put in the hard yards you will get the result and reward.

“He has played with me in Mumbai and I have only seen him grow with every game and every series he has played with new strategies and new plans.

“Good to see he has matured as a bowler now. He understands what he needs to do and what the team expects out of him. And he is very focused and disciplined in terms of his work ethic and that is what is giving results on the field.”

India will play three ODIs and three T20Is against Sri Lanka before heading to South Africa.