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Rohit on his spin trio: 'It's like captaining Starc, Cummins and Hazlewood in Australia'

"When you have the quality of Axar, Jadeja and Ash, it's always a blessing as they never disappoint"

Rohit Sharma has compared the experience of captaining R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel in India to that of an Australia captain having Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc at his disposal in Australian conditions. Speaking after India wrapped up an innings win within two-and-a-half days in the first Border-Gavaskar Test in Nagpur, Rohit said India's three spinners "never disappoint" in home Tests because they constantly keep batters under pressure.
"It's like captaining Cummins, Hazlewood, Starc in Australia," Rohit said. "Pretty similar. Because when you have the quality of Axar, Jadeja and Ash, having played in India for so many years, growing up playing on pitches like this, it's always a blessing. They never disappoint.
"The conditions are there, yes, but you've got to come out and extract [assistance from] those conditions as well, because the conditions are there for both teams, it's not just for us. Whichever team we play, the conditions are there for everyone, but to come out and extract something from the pitch is what makes them really, really special. They've played on pitches like this a lot, so they know exactly what to do, which areas to hit, and how to keep applying that pressure, setting the field right.
"When I was a player, and Virat [Kohli] was captaining then, I noticed one thing that no matter if we don't get a wicket, that pressure has to be there so that the opposition makes a mistake, and that is something I learned when Virat was captaining and these guys were bowling.
"That is what I'm trying to do now - just apply that pressure, don't get too excited with wickets, that it's going to come every ball, it's not going to happen like that. If it happens, nothing like it, but we've got to expect that it's not going to happen every ball. You've just got to keep at it, and keep putting the ball in right areas, let the pitch help you."
Asked if it was a challenge as well as a privilege to captain the three spinners, Rohit replied in humorous vein.
"Yeah, it's a little tough honestly, because they're all reaching their milestones. Jadeja was telling me he's on 249 wickets, he's telling me 'mere ko ball de [give me the ball].' Ashwin was [on] four wickets, so he's closer to five wickets, he's saying 'I want to bowl yaar.' So that is the challenge I'm facing at the moment with these guys, because I really don't know too much about milestones but these guys are quite aware of it.
"[…] Whichever end is more helpful, all the spinners want to bowl from that end, that's obvious, but the pressure is always on me to find the right end for the right one. It's a challenge, but again, I try and play a little bit of match-up game as well.
"Ash has a good match-up against left-handers, not that he can't get right-handers out, but he's got a great match-up against left-handers. Ravindra Jadeja and Axar have an unbelievable match-up against right-handers, so I try and keep those things in my mind while trying to rotate the three of them."