The T20 World Cup is just around the corner and the qualifiers will begin from Sunday with Sri Lanka taking on Namibia. However, the Super 4 stage will start on October 22 with hosts Australia squaring off against New Zealand. However, the one match that everyone has their eyes on is between India and Pakistan on October 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Team India reached Australia and they played two practice games against Western Australia XI. The side will also square off against Australia and New Zealand in official warm-up games before taking on Pakistan.
Team India captain Rohit Sharma addressed the media as part of ICC’s Captains’ Day in Melbourne where all the 16 captains were available ahead of the start of T20 World Cup. It was then that Rohit spoke about the side’s preparations and the high-voltage match against Pakistan.
“We understand the game against Pakistan, but there is no point of talking about it everytime and creating that pressure within yourselves. Whenever we meet against the Pakistan players, we talk about how they are, how the families are. We just talk about what is going on, how is life and what new car they have bought or they are about to buy,” said Rohit during the media session.
The All-India Senior Selection Committee on Friday named Mohammed Shami as the replacement for the injured Jasprit Bumrah. Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj were also named as backups.
“Injuries are part and parcel of the sport, there is nothing much that can be done about it. If you play these many games, injuries are bound to happen. That is why our focus over the last year was to create bench strength and wherever we got the opportunity, we gave younger guys a go. As far as Shami goes, he tested positive for COVID-19 2-3 weeks back and he was there at his farm, he then went to NCA and did his rehab there. He is there in Brisbane right now,” said Rohit.
“The Indian team will reach Brisbane from Perth, we have a practice session tomorrow. He will practice with the team, whatever we have heard about Shami till now, it has been positive. He has had good 3-4 bowling sessions. But again, when it comes to injuries, we have tried really hard to manage our players in the last 1-2 years. But it is unfortunate and you cannot do much about it. This is the reason we wanted to create bench strength,” he added.
Team India are placed in Group 2 featuring Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh and the two other qualifiers in the Super 12 stage.
When asked Bumrah, Rohit said: “He is a quality bowler, unfortunately injuries can happen. You cannot do much about it, we talked to a lot of specialists about his injury but no good response came from them. World Cup is important, but his career is more important to us. He is just 27-28 years old and there is a lot of cricket ahead of him. We cannot do risk like that, and the specialists also advised the game. We will miss him, there is no doubt about it.”
Talking about Suryakumar Yadav, the Indian captain said: “He is in good form, he is batting well. I hope he continues to bat in that fashion because it is important for us that he bats well in the middle-order. He plays fearlessly, he uses his skill-set. I hope he becomes the X-factor but I want every player in our team to be the X-factor. I hope he continues his good form in the World Cup also.”
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