Rohit Sharma eyeing ‘something special’ for India at T20 World Cup

Captain Rohit Sharma said India are not fazed by the ‘hectic’ schedule during the T20 World Cup Super Eight stage. Photo: IANS

Captain Rohit Sharma said India are not fazed by the ‘hectic’ schedule during the T20 World Cup Super Eight stage. Photo: IANS

Published Jun 20, 2024


India captain Rohit Sharma expressed his excitement and optimism as the team gears up for the Super Eight stage of the T20 World Cup.

Speaking ahead of their first match against Afghanistan tomorrow, Rohit emphasised the team’s collective ambition to make a significant impact in the tournament.

India, having cruised through the group stage unbeaten, secured victories against Ireland, Pakistan, and the USA.

Their final group-stage match against Canada was abandoned due to rain, leaving them at the top of Group A with an unblemished record.

The Indian team arrived in Barbados days ahead of their Super Eight opener to acclimate and focus on their preparations.

In a video released by the BCCI, Rohit highlighted the team’s eagerness to excel.

“There is real keenness in the group to go and do something special,” he said.

“It clearly shows that everyone wants to make a difference, and we take our skill sessions quite seriously. There is something to achieve in every skill session that you do.”

Acknowledging the challenges of the upcoming schedule, the Indian skipper noted the team’s readiness to tackle the demands of the Super Eight stage.

“Once we play the first game, we are going to play the next two in three-four days. It is going to be a little hectic, but we are used to all of this.

“We travel and play a lot, so that is not going to be an excuse.”

Speaking on the importance of focusing on their skills and strategies, especially given their familiarity with the local conditions, Rohit said: “We will look to focus on our skill and what we need to do as a team.

“We have played a lot of games here. Everyone understands what they need to do. Everyone is looking forward and are excited at the same time.”

India’s Super Eight campaign kicks off on Thursday, June 20 with a match against Afghanistan at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.

This will be followed by a clash against Bangladesh in Antigua two days later, and they will conclude the Super Eight stage with a match against Australia in St Lucia on June 24.

Meanwhile, former spinner Harbhajan Singh analysed India’s journey in the tournament so far, and backed wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant to continue batting at the No 3 spot in the Super Eight.

The veteran bowler detailed that Pant coming one-down helps the side to maintain a left-right batting combination in the middle, which poses a great challenge to any bowling unit.

In the tournament so far, Pant is the highest run-getter for the Indian team with 96 in three innings on a challenging New York pitch, while all-rounder Hardik Pandya is the joint-highest wicket-taker with Arshdeep Singh, with both taking seven scalps each.

“To make Rishabh Pant play at number three is a big positive. The left-right combination is formed when Rishabh Pant plays at number three,” Harbhajan told Star Sports.

“There are a lot of positives. Of course, there are challenges and difficulties. But the challenges come in for those who are brave.

“This team is a team of brave players. They fought well and played very well. Because of this, they topped the group.”

The former bowler further outlined Pandya’s contribution to the showpiece as the “biggest positive” for the Rohit Sharma-led side.

“The biggest positive is that Hardik Pandya took the wicket. He was the fourth bowler in this tournament. But if you look at his wicket tally, he has done much better than what was expected of him.

“Along with him, Rishabh Pant played at number three. His role was completely changed. Before this World Cup, we were saying that Sanju Samson would play in the team because he has made big runs.” | IANS

India Super Eight Fixtures

June 20: India v Afghanistan at Kensington Oval, Barbados

June 22: India v Bangladesh at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua

June 24: India v Australia at Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St Lucia