Asia Cup 2023

‘There can be changes in the playing XI before the World Cup’ – Rohit Sharma on India’s 20-20 World Cup plans

India are all but out of Asia Cup 2022
Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma- Source (Twitter)

Rohit  Sharma has his task cut out before the 20-20 World Cup. But India captain Rohit Sharma is willing to reflect on the losses. India has been given a reality check with consecutive defeats to Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup in the UAE.

A rotational policy and injuries to frontliners like Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel may have prevented India from fielding their best eleven. Too many experiments in the middle-order, the misfiring batting and refusing to give Deepak Hooda the ball, which led to Hardik Pandya being stretched as an all-rounder is not a new problem for India. The pace bowling department was very thin for India in this Asia Cup as well.

With the World Cup just over a month away, Sharma refused to press the panic button. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong; it looks like it from the outside, but we don’t look at it that way,” he said. “I’ve been at many press conferences and when you lose such questions will be asked. It’s normal. But as far as the team is concerned, you can go in and see (in the dressing room), all the boys are relaxed, chilled. We need to have such an atmosphere whether you win or lose.”

Sharma told the press about why Rishabh Pant was selected ahead of Dinesh Karthik – Sharma at least thinks so. “See, it is simple. We wanted a left-hander to bat in the middle. That’s why Karthik is out. Not because of form or anything. We wanted a left-hand batter in the middle to take pressure off, but it didn’t happen. But by no means has DK been dropped because of poor form. We always want to have flexibility in the group. We will keep changing players every now and then depending on the opposition. Four-five batters will play, but there will always be those one-two changes in the batting.”

Rohit on the sixth bowling option and the downfall of Hardik Pandya in this Asia Cup – “Yes, we have the sixth bowling option, but we also wanted to try out with five options and see what happens and what doesn’t happen,” he said. “Today Hooda was there, but both their right-handers (openers) were set, and I didn’t think I could bring him on then because we were looking to take wickets through our attacking spinners Ashwin and Chahal. Yes, if we got early wickets, I wanted to bowl Hooda, he was in my plan. But yes, six options is always nice. When we play the World Cup it will be at the back of our mind to play with six options.”

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