Curated By: Aakash Biswas
Last Updated: October 04, 2023, 17:16 IST
“Focus on one game at a time,” said Rohit Sharma at least twice when he was questioned about his and Team India’s approach in the ICC World Cup 2023, starting Thursday at Narendra Modi Stadium. A day before the beginning of the mega cricket carnival, all 10 skippers assembled in Ahmedabad for the Captains’ Day media event, moderated by former India head coach Ravi Shastri and 2019 World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan.
The showpiece event comes to India after 12 years and Rohit, who missed out on in 2011, will be leading the men in blue, aiming to end the decade-long drought of an ICC title. Expressing his thoughts, Rohit said he feels lucky to be leading India in the 50-Over World Cup for the first time.
“Very lucky to be leading this team in the World Cup. I have seen the history of the tournament being played and the people who have taken part in it. So, I feel lucky to be leading India in this World Cup,” Rohit said at the event.
“At the same time, it’s quite exciting and speaking of pressure, all these guys are used to that; whether they are playing in India or away. The pressure is never going to leave a sportsperson as long as you play the sport. So, keep it aside and focus on the job at hand. I know it’s very easy to say that but I’m sure, we all have prepared well which gives a lot of confidence going into any game,” he added.
India last won the World Cup in 2011 under MS Dhoni’s leadership. Michael Clarke won it for Australia in 2015 and then England lifted the cup in 2019 at Lord’s. As the showpiece returns to India, Shastri asked if Rohit was thinking about the fact that the last three editions saw the hosts clinching the title.
‘Not thinking too much about it, honestly (Rohit chuckles). It has happened in the last three editions. All I want to say is that we’ll try to give our best and enjoy the tournament. It’s a long tournament and you can’t get too far ahead of yourself. So, it’s important that we focus on one job at a time and move on,” Rohit said.
India will face Australia in their campaign opener in Chennai and then Afghanistan in Delhi before moving to Ahmedabad for the epic clash against Pakistan. Rohit said the first two games are very important as the team is focused on dealing with one job at a time.
“We start in Chennai on the 8th (Against Australia) and we do understand the importance of every game we play in this tournament. It’s World Cup and every team would be looking to lay their best cricket. So, you got to be on the top of your game,” Rohit said.
“We should look at the first game in Chennai and understand what we need to do as a team. Go and asses the conditions a little bit and field your best XI,” he added.