The wait is almost over as India will be squaring off against Pakistan in a high-voltage clash in the Super 12 stage of the ongoing T20 World Cup on Sunday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It would be interesting to see which team comes up on top. Ahead of the fixture, one question that is on the minds of everyone is whether rain will play spoilsport? It poured down heavily on Friday evening at Melbourne and showers are expected on Sunday as well. Ahead of the crucial encounter, India captain Rohit Sharma addressed a press conference on Saturday where he spoke about the team’s preparations and what the playing XI can look like.
“In hindsight, if you look at it, toss become a little important when there is rain threat. But again, I have been hearing about the Melbourne weather for a while now, it keeps changing. You do not know what is going to happen tomorrow, what is in our control, we will try to look after that. We need to come here thinking it will be a 40-over game, if the situation demands, if it is a shorter game, we will be ready for it. The players know how to manage themselves if the game is reduced, 10 over reach or 5 over each. Luckily, we played a game in India where it was an 8-over game,” said Rohit.
India have not won an ICC title since 2013 when the side won the Champions Trophy under the leadership of MS Dhoni. After that, the side made the semi-finals of 2015 50-over World Cup, 2016 T20 World Cup, 2017 Champions Trophy final and semi-finals of 2019 50-over World Cup.
“I do not want to say pressure, but it is a definitely challenge for us to come out on top in ICC tournaments. Yes, there has been not the performance what we would like to show in ICC tournaments, especially big games, but I believe the opportunity always comes and we have the opportunity now to come here and do well so I think we will have to focus on certain things to get that right.”
“Yes, it is a challenge to not win ICC trophy for nine years, if I am not wrong. The last one we won was in 2013. It has been a challenge with the team like us, there is lot of expectations, we certainly little disappointed with that. This tournament gives us that chance to change it and do well. We certainly know we have to play our best cricket to do well here. We need to take it one game at a time, and then go ahead,” he added.
When asked how he has worked on issues since last year’s World Cup, Rohit said: “The most important thing was to give players freedom, giving them the security to do well in challenging situations. We focused on how to give players the security without worrying about results. These small things matter a lot, in this last one year, us not focusing on results, we wanted to focus on small things. We were thinking about how we can play fearlessly. We were talking about it in our dressing room.”
Talking about playing Pakistan, Rohit said: “I do not want to use this word pressure, but it is constant. It is not going to change ever. I would like to take this as challenge. This Pakistani team is a very challenging team, all the Pakistan teams I have played against from 2007 to 2022, they have been a good team. It is just that, I believe on that particular day, kind of thing. On that particular day, if you are good enough, you will beat any opposition. And on the day if you are good, you will take the win and go home. Pakistan have been good in the last World Cup, they beat us.”
“They were good in Asia Cup, we were good too. We won the first game, and they won the second one. Unfortunately, we were out of the Asia Cup, we did not win the important games. Look, they have been playing good cricket and you know their brand of cricket. Luckily, we got to play them twice in the Asia Cup otherwise we don’t play them at all. So it is pretty hard to gauge what sort of mindset they come in with. So, it is important to understand what is their strength and weakness. In a World Cup, I do not think you cannot underestimate any team,” he added.
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