SKY, however, was quick to point out that he means business and that the players should put the team interest first.”I think what I told them when I met them in the afternoon was let’s be very selfless when we go onto the field. I am a guy who doesn’t think much of personal milestones ahead of team goals. Hence, I told them to keep the team’s interests first and then whatever comes after that, they can take their call. I have played with them a lot of times during the IPL and a few India games and they know how I function, and it wasn’t that difficult to communicate my thoughts. We are excited about the series,” he said ahead of the first T20I against Australia, here on Wednesday evening.It’s just four days since India lost the World Cup final and SKY is still smarting from the loss. The hurt feelings were pretty obvious. “It’s obviously a little disappointing but at the end when you look back at the journey it was a really great campaign. Every member and not only the players but also the support staff and the whole of India and all our families are very proud of the way we played on the field. The brand of cricket which we played throughout the tournament is something which we can be really proud of,” he said.
“It is difficult to overcome that loss and will take time to heal. We can’t get up the next morning and forget everything. It has been a long tournament as such. We would have loved to win but we have to forget it and move on. It’s a new series, with a fresh set of boys and great energy. They are really looking forward to this series,” he added.
The Mumbai batter lauded Rohit Sharma and said he shouldered the burden well in the World Cup. “That is one thing that will set an example for youngsters. What he has done in the World Cup was a completely different Rohit Sharma – he literally walked the talk. What was spoken in the team meetings, he did that on the ground. As a leader, he led by example and we will try to replicate the same thing,” he added.
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On the T20 World Cup next year, SKY said: “I think keeping the T20 World Cup in mind, the games we play till then are very important. My message to them was very clear: just be fearless and do whatever it takes to help the team. They have been doing all this in the IPL and have played a lot of domestic cricket recently. They are in good form as I have heard from our support staff. I told them only one thing – enjoy your time in the middle, do the same things and don’t try to do something different.”
The last time India played Australia on this ground was on March 19 earlier this year. It was a disastrous outing as the ODI game lasted only 37 overs. India were shot out for a lowly 117 in 26 overs and the Aussies replied with 121 for no loss in 11 overs. SKY had fallen for a duck in that game. Asked about that game, SKY with a chuckle said: “It’s a T20 game now. I feel it is going to be a good pitch. I have seen it and it looks good and the ground too is nice.”