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Chennai: India captain Rohit Sharma has promised his side will continue to attack at all costs with the bat during the lead-up to the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup later this year.
However, India's aggressive batting style yet again proved to be their undoing as they fell to a 21-run loss to Australia in Chennai on Wednesday, a result that ultimately cost Rohit's side the series and the No.1 ODI ranking. When a cautious approach may have been more appropriate during India's chase on a slow surface at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, a number of seasoned players were found wanting when it came to applying themselves at the middle and taking the team past the finish line.
However, speaking at the post-match press conference, Rohit defended his team's aggressive approach with the willow, saying he wants his squad to continue playing fearlessly in the 50-over format.
"We have always talked about playing fearless cricket. We have given complete freedom to our batters to play aggressively if they fancy taking bowlers on. However, there is always a risk of them not achieving what they set out to, which is fine by us. They are only going to learn through their failures," Rohit said, reflecting on India's loss in the 3-match ODI series.
"We will definitely not judge a player on the basis of a couple of poor shots. All these guys have plenty of potential and can play aggressive shots whenever they want. We want to keep encouraging them to go out there and take the attack to the bowlers," he added.
While a game-changer in the T20 format, Suryakumar Yadav's third duck straight duck in as many ODIs against the Baggy Greens at the Chepauk on Wednesday, has called into question his place in the 50-over format.
It was slow left-armer Ashton Agar who took the prized scalp of Suryakumar on Wednesday, wresting the momentum of the match in favour of the visitors by sending back Virat Kohli and SKY in the space of two balls.
"He only played three balls in three matches this series. So, I don't know how much to look into it. He got three good balls, to be honest. Today, it wasn't that good a ball that got him. He should have gone forward. He knows best. He plays spin so well. We have seen that over the last couple of years," said the India captain, putting his weight behind the talismanic middle-order bat.
"That's why, we decided to hold him back and give him the role of the enforcer in the last 15-20 overs where he can play his natural game. However, it's unfortunate that he scored ducks in three matches. It could happen to anyone. But one cannot question his ability and potential. He is just going through a bad phase right now," Rohit added.
Reluctant to single out players who underperformed in the series, Rohit praised the visitors for the way they bounced back and losing the opening match comprehensively.
"It's been a collective failure but we can take a lot of learnings from this series. But credit to the Australians for the way they came back to win the series after losing the opening match. Both their spinners applied pressure on our batters and so did their seamers. Though we were born and brought up on these wickets, at times, one needs to apply oneself and give himself the best chance to score big," he said. (ANI)