Rohit Sharma is not averse to playing three spinners against Pakistan at the Narendra Modi Stadium ground with big square boundaries. But, on the eve of the blockbuster Cricket World Cup 2023 face-off, the Indian cricket team captain was in two minds over whether to continue with Shardul Thakur or bring in his senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Asked if the track warrants playing three spinners, Rohit said: “I don’t know, honestly. If there is a change or two we need to make, we will be ready with that. And the guys have been informed very well in advance about these kind of changes. So, I don’t think it’s going to be any issues with the players. But if the requirement is there for us to play three spinners, we will play three spinners,” the skipper kept things pretty open-ended.”
During the last Cricket World Cup, he scored five hundreds and was the vice-captain of the side. As skipper in this edition of the tournament, he has created a world record of scoring seven hundreds in ODI World Cups.
What has changed in these four years? “Not a lot to be honest. I know what are the things that I need to do to find success on the field in terms of me as a player and then me as a captain.
“But speaking of just the player first, the batter, I think there are certain boxes for me that I have to tick before every game, just to get you that confidence.” For Rohit, preparation is very important.
“And I thought I’ve done everything that I can from my side to prepare well for each game. Because we know every day is a new day, fresh day. And you start your fresh day as a new challenge.” The past hardly matters and it is only the future that one should look at.
“You can take a bit of confidence from that, but like we know in sport, every day is a fresh day. You play different opposition. They bring you new challenges. And you just got to be ready to face that challenge, confront that challenge.” Minute understanding of his own game has been the biggest plus.
“I understood my game, what is my game, and what is the team’s requirement from my game and from my ability. So, I think I try and do all of that to the best of my ability. If it comes out, it comes out. If it doesn’t, it’s okay.
“As long as I know that before entering the game, I have ticked all the boxes, I’m happy with that.”
Matches against Pakistan carry their own set of pressures but Rohit doesn’t believe that he has to have a separate chat with his men before facing the traditional rivals.
“I have said this many times, that for us, tomorrow’s match is a match against the opposition. We will see that match the same way we have seen the last two matches and the upcoming matches. There is no need to think more or less.
“We will prepare the way we prepare for every game. And the message will be the same for all the boys. There is no need to do anything else.”
His idea is contrary to what the arch-rivals are doing at the moment with PCB management committee chairman Zaka Ashraf’s pep talk video ahead of the game indicating the immense pressure on the visitors.
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