The Telegraph
Tuesday , February 4 , 2014
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‘Got what we were out to achieve’

Whangarei: Stand-in captain Rohit Sharma, on Monday, said that the Indian team got “what they wanted” before going into the first Test against New Zealand, starting from Thursday, at the Eden Park, in Auckland.

“We got what we were out to achieve from this practice game. All the batsmen got in and made some runs, while bowlers also chipped in with wickets, which is a good sign before a Test series.

“I am happy with how things went over the last two days,” Rohit, who scored a half-century along with Ajinkya Rahane, said.

Rohit was effusive of young pacer Ishwar Pandey. “Pandey bowled really well. Given the conditions, he stuck to his plans and got rewarded with three wickets.

“All the other three fast bowlers also did well. They did not get the wickets they wanted, but Pandey was the one who really got stuck there,” stressed Rohit.

With Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli coming back to the playing XI for the Tests, it would be a good session together before the match commences, Rohit said.

“It is really important that we get together and play as a team. We have to do well in partnerships, whether it is bowling or batting. If we bat first, we have to post big totals. If we field first, we got to take early wickets.

“That’s what it is. It is very simple. Everyone knows it. Hopefully, we can go there and try and do it. It is a very difficult challenge that lies ahead of our team. We have lost the ODI series and need to salvage our pride by noteworthy performances in the longer format,” he said.