November 19, 2018 / 7:19 AM / 25 days ago

Cricket - India prepared for extra pace and bounce in Australia: Rohit

(Reuters) - India have the quality and confidence in their batting ranks to master the extra pace and bounce on Australian wickets and excel across formats, batsman Rohit Sharma said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - England v India - First One Day International - Trent Bridge, Nottingham, Britain - July 12, 2018. India's Rohit Sharma in action. Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra/File Photo

India have never won a test series Down Under but fancy their chances against an Australian team yet to recover from a ball-tampering scandal that led to bans for former captain Steve Smith, opener David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft.

“This is one place we want to leave our mark on and do well as an unit,” Rohit told reporters in Brisbane where the three-match Twenty20 series kicks off on Wednesday.

“The last time we came here there were a few close games. We want to make it count this time around. There is real good feeling in the group across all three formats. The motive of the team is to try and seize all the moments and try and win.

“When you do well in places like Australia you feel good as a team. Thinking about the World Cup ahead it can only give you confidence winning in places like Australia.”

The Twenty20 Internationals will be followed by a four-test series beginning in Adelaide on Dec. 6.

Gabba, which Rohit considers to be Australia’s fastest surface, does not host any test but Perth, known for assisting the quicks, is the venue for the second match while Melbourne and Sydney host the last two tests.

“India have always played either at Perth or Brisbane,” Rohit said. “This time around we are playing at Perth and not Brisbane. Last time we played at Brisbane but not Perth.

“Those two conditions are obviously very challenging and Australia specially have tall bowlers who extract bounce and use it to their advantage. Indian batsmen generally are not that tall. It’s not that easy for us.

“But all the guys are determined to change things around this time. It will be a challenge but we are ready to accept the challenge.”

Rohit has scored heavily in the limited-overs matches in Australia and his strong backfoot play earned him a place in India’s test squad after being dropped following modest returns in South Africa earlier this year.

The elegant right-hander said the extra bounce would suit his batting as he seeks to cement his place in the test squad.

“The good bounce allows me to play my game because I have grown up playing on cement pitches back home,” Rohit added.

“I have done well in limited overs, but the challenge obviously is red ball cricket, which right now I am not thinking of, just want to do well in the T20 format and take it from there.”

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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