Rohit Sharma’s press conference: Captain Rohit Sharma speaks to the press ahead of his first time as an Indian captain for the full tour.
With the 14th edition of the Asia Cup getting down to business tomorrow, there is no hiding to the fact that the India-Pakistan clashes are likely to remain the highlight of the tournament. In which should not be the case in a multi-team tournament, but can’t help it with people’s expectation regarding India and Pakistan playing against each other.
The last time that the Indian team had traveled to the UAE was way back in 2006 for a two-match ODI series against Pakistan. The country has been witness to numerous India-Pakistan clashes.
On being asked about the way in which the team is looking forward after the disappointment in England (although a different format), Sharma said, “Firstly, we are happy to be back here. As you said, I wasn’t aware that it’s been 12 years since India last played here. As a team, we are very happy.
“As a team, we are only 7 or 8 of us over here right now. Half the team is still on their way from England. Once they are back, we know what to focus on focus and we exactly know what we have to do as a group. Of late, we have played some great cricket in limited overs, won many series outside India.”
The media persons were keen on knowing India’s preparation for the game against Pakistan. To which, Sharma answered that the team is excited for that match but has focus on the whole tournament.
“It’s exciting. It’s nice to play Pakistan. They’ve been a great nation. They have played good cricket of late. Looking forward to the clash. But, there are other teams as well. Each team is eyeing the title. By no means, I am saying that focus should be on one game. The focus should be on the whole tournament because everyone is eyeing for the title”, he was quoted.
Considering the Asia Cup as a build-up for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Sharma was asked if the Indian team would be preparing for the ultimate event from hereon. “In a way, you can say that because every team wants to go to the World Cup knowing their perfect combination and strengths”, he said.
“Having said that, rather than looking too far ahead, it is important to focus at the job in hand. Every team here will be eyeing for that combination for the World Cup. But you know, it [World Cup] is too far ahead from now. We will be playing many games before that so I think personally for me as a member of the squad it will be nice to focus on one little tournament and move forward.
“It is important for all guys of the team to take part and stake their claim for the World Cup. This is a great tournament”, he further said.