The wait is almost over as arch-rivals India and Pakistan will square off in the Group A match of the Asia Cup 2022 on Sunday in Dubai. It would be interesting to see how both teams perform in front of a jam-packed stadium and how both units hold their nerve. Ahead of the match, India captain Rohit Sharma on Saturday addressed a press conference where he spoke about the morale within the group, the preparation for the match and what do India-Pakistan matches mean to him.
“Look, the mood in the camp is obviously buzzing. It is a new tournament, fresh start. When you start afresh, you need to start fresh, not to think about anything that has happened in the past. We want to move ahead, it will be challenging to play against Pakistan without a doubt, but it would be important for us to see what we are thinking and what we want to achieve out of this tournament. We will focus on that rather than thinking about the opposition. We want to achieve something from this tournament,” said Rohit.
“Everyone wants to start the tournament on a high and everyone is looking forward to it. All 15 are here, they are all in the mix. That’s why they are here, because they have produced results. Everyone stands a chance to represent, we are not somebody who will close doors on individuals and we do not want to do that. We want to see how individuals respond to certain situations that have been put by the team management to them,” he added.
Talking about, Rohit said: “Of late, he has come out really well. We know his quality, even before he was dropped from the team, he had played some crucial knocks for us. Keeping that in mind, what kind of role he plays for us, he was brought back to the team. So yeah, so far he has not disappointed us.”
India had faced a defeat against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2021. Talking about that, Rohit said: “Yes, that loss did hurt us but some time has passed since that game was played. So, for us, we have got another challenge in front of us now. There is no point thinking about that loss now. Since then, we have played a lot of games and we have tried to correct our mistakes. You learn from mistakes, it is a fresh start for us. The team is coming out of playing a lot of T20 cricket, and we know now to win games. Opposition will challenge you, but you need to find ways to counter that. The losses obviously hurt, but we have moved on from that loss.”
Heading into the match against Pakistan, all the talk has been surrounding, who has not scored an international ton for more than 1,000 days. Virat Kohli in an interview with Star Sports, also revealed why he needed a break and how he was feeling “mentally down”.
Talking about the same, Rohit said: “We do talk about these kinds of things a lot. Since COVID has struck, it has been difficult for players, not just Virat. Everyone has gone through a hard time, staying in bubbles and not being able to go outside hotel rooms. Guys find it difficult, staying inside rooms, quarantine and all, was not easy. Every player has a way to respond to that. There is a constant talk about how the players are mentally and what they think about the game and how we can keep them fresh. Mentally you need to be fresh, you would not be able to compete if you are not mentally fresh.”
“From what I have seen, Virat is looking in good touch, he is working hard on his batting. It is not looking like he is thinking about things a lot. There are no extra-ordinary changes. He is coming back after one month, there is freshness that we can spot. He is looking in good touch, we try to give everyone a chance to prepare to the best of their ability. Preparation wise, we have put our best foot forward,” he added.
Topics mentioned in this article