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‘I know what’s at stake’, says India skipper Rohit

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Update : Thursday, October 5, 2023

India skipper Rohit Sharma on Wednesday said he appreciates “what’s at stake” but will not get bogged down by the weight of expectation on his team to win another World Cup title at home. The hosts begin their campaign against five-time champions Australia in Chennai on Sunday as cricket-crazy India looks to the team to end a long world title drought stretching back to the 2013 Champions Trophy. India last won the 50-over World Cup at home in 2011 under M.S. Dhoni to add to their 1983 triumph in England. “I know what’s at stake, and so do the team members, the guys who are part of this team also know what’s at stake,” Rohit said at a captains’ press conference in Ahmedabad. “So, for us, it’s just about taking everything out now and just focusing on what we want to do as a team. Not worry about the expectation because that’s always going to be there.” He added: “Not worry about who we’re playing and not worry about what is happening elsewhere. Because it’s time now for us to just be secluded a little bit, and then focus on what we want to do as a team.” Former captain and superstar batsman Virat Kohli took the team to great heights before he was replaced as the white-ball captain. Critics had often slammed Kohli for not winning a world crown. Rohit played down the pressure of leading a team followed by millions of home fans. “All these guys are quite used to going through that pressure, whether it’s playing in India or away from India,” said Rohit. “Pressure is something that is not going to leave a sportsman. As long as you are playing sport the pressure is always going to be there. Keep that aside, focus on the job at hand.” The last three editions of the showpiece event witnessed the home team taking the trophy in India (2011), Australia (2015) and England (2019). “Not thinking too much about that,” said Rohit “It has happened in the last three editions of the World Cup, but all I can say is that we are going to try our best, give out best and enjoy the tournament.” The World Cup gets underway on Thursday when defending champions England take on 2019 runners-up New Zealand in Ahmedabad.


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