Ahmedabad, Oct 4 (IANS): India captain Rohit Sharma stated that while there would be pressure before leading the side in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup on home soil, his point is to overcome it by keeping that factor aside and focusing on the job at hand.
India is eyeing to claim a third Men’s ODI World Cup title after achieving previous successes in 1983 and 2011. The 13th edition of the tournament sees India being the sole hosts of this event after being co-hosts on three previous occasions in 1987, 1996 and 2011.
“All these guys are quite used to going through that pressure, whether it's playing India or away from India, pressure is something that is not going to leave a sportsman. As long as you play the sport, the pressure is always going to be there.”
“So keep that aside, focus on the job at hand. It's very easy to say that, but it's going to be tough. But I'm sure, we prepared really well and as long as you prepare really well, that gives you a lot of confidence going into any game,” said Rohit during the ICC Captains Call in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
Rohit, who missed out on 2011 World Cup squad selection, further said, “I’m very grateful to be leading this team into this World Cup. I've seen the history of the World Cup being played and the people who have taken part in this World Cup. So I'm quite lucky to be leading this team into this World Cup. It's quite exciting at the same time.”
The last three editions of the Men’s ODI World Cup have been won by host nations - India (2011), Australia (2015) and England (2019). But Rohit wasn’t thinking too much about this sequence continuing in 2023.
“Not thinking too much about it. Honestly, (while) it has happened in the last three editions of the World Cup, but all I can say is we're going to try our best, give it our best and enjoy the tournament.”
Rohit added that given the tournament's round-robin format, India cannot afford to get too far ahead of themselves at the outset and must take each match as it comes.
“That's all I can say at this point in time. Because you know it's a pretty long tournament and I do understand that you can't get too far ahead of yourself. So it's important for us that we try and focus on one job at a time and then move on.”
Both of India’s warm-up fixtures leading into the Men’s ODI World Cup against England and Netherlands were washed out due to rain. They will now play their opening World Cup match against Australia on October 8 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.