‘Absolutely rubbish’ – Rohit Sharma hits back at Ravi Shastri’s ‘overconfident’ jibe, takes aim at criticism from ‘outsiders’
Days after former coach Ravi Shastri criticised the India team’s “overconfidence” for their defeat against Australia in the Indore Test match, India captain Rohit Sharma has hit back, defending his team’s “ruthless” approach.
India suffered a thumping setback in the third Test, struggling to bat well on a turning pitch that was rated poor by the ICC. They lost by nine wickets – only their third defeat at home in 2013. Shastri, part of the commentary panel, had said that the team looked complacent and overconfident, and needed to take a “step back or two to analyse”, with the series now placed at 2-1.
“This is what a little complacency, a little bit of overconfidence can do when you take things for granted, you drop guard and this game will bring you down,” Shastri said on air. “I think it was a combination of all these things when you actually cast your mind back to the first innings, see some of the shots played, see some of the overeagerness to try to dominate in these conditions. You reflect back, take a step back or two to analyse.”
Speaking to reporters ahead of the fourth Test match in Ahmedabad, Rohit slammed “outsiders” for the “overconfident” tag: “Honestly, when you win two games, if the people outside are feeling that we are overconfident, it’s absolutely rubbish, because you want to do your best in all four games. You don’t want to stop by winning just two games, it is as simple as that.”
Rohit added that India are do their “best in all the games”, and it “doesn’t really matter” if outsiders perceive them as overconfident. He pointed out that Shastri himself has been part of the dressing room during his stints as team director in 2014 and 2015, and as head coach from 2017 to 2021.
“Obviously, all these guys, when they talk about being overconfident and all that, especially the guys who are not part of the dressing room, they don’t know what kind of talk happens in the dressing room,” said Rohit. “Ruthless is the word that comes to my mind, and it comes to every cricketer’s mind, being ruthless. Not to give any inch to the opposition when they are playing, especially when they’re touring abroad, and that is exactly what we have also experienced when we have toured outside. The opposition will never let you come into the game, never let you come into the series. And that is the mindset we have as well.
“We want to do best in all the games. If it seems overconfident or anything like that to the outsiders, it doesn’t really matter to us, because Ravi himself has been in this dressing room, and he knows what sort of mindset we have when we play. It’s about being ruthless, not being overconfident.”
The fourth Test begins on March 9 in Ahmedabad. Here’s where to watch it live.