Rohit Sharma opens up about India’s World Cup squad: We were sure Asia Cup wouldn’t give us complete picture

India captain Rohit Sharma said the team management was quite clear that the 2 matches in the group stage of Asia Cup 2023 wouldn’t give them a clear picture of the combination for the ODI World Cup 2023 later in the year. Rohit said India had an idea of what their World Cup squad would be like even before they set out to Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup.

Rohit Sharma said it’s not ideal to look too much into the two Group A games and base the World Cup squad selection decisions on them. The skipper’s comments came after India secured a 10-wicket victory over Nepal in their second and final Group A match in Pallekele, chasing 145 in 23 overs via DLS in a rain-affected run-chase.

India are scheduled to announce their World Cup provisional squad on September 5. India had the opportunity to test things out in the two group-stage matches in Asia Cup 2023 but both of them were affected by rain.

India got to bat 48.5 overs against Pakistan in the high-octane Group A match on Saturday and posted 266 before rain led to abandonment. On Monday, India opted to bowl and manged to bowl Nepal out for 230. However, their chase was curtailed by rain.

“Look, when we came here, in the back of our mind, we knew what our 15 is going to be like. There was one or two spots that we wanted to have a look at, but we were very clear in our mind that the Asia Cup is not going to give us the complete picture of what the squad would be like, because there were only two games that we had to play.

Also Read: 5 Super 4s matches likely to be shifted from Colombo to Hambantota

“So you can’t really look too much into these two games and one being washed out. But luckily,

“We got a bat in the first game and we bowled in this game. That was a complete game for us. But, yeah, a lot of things that we need to still understand what we need to do as a group. We didn’t play our best cricket in both our games, but I’m sure we’re getting there. A lot of the guys are just coming back after a long break. I can understand a little bit. Few guys are coming back after months of being out of the game, so that can happen.,” Rohit Sharma said.


Notably, head coach Rahul Dravid said before the Asia Cup that India had an idea about their core group of players 12 months ago. Chief selector Ajit Agarakar also hinted that the World Cup squad will be more or less based on the Asia Cup side.

While the likes of Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya stepped up with the ball, India still have question marks over the fitness of KL Rahul and match practice of Jasprit Bumrah.

Rahul did not travel to Sri Lanka for the group stage as he needed more time to recover from a niggle he picked up during rehabilitation at the NCA in Bengaluru. On the other hand, Bumrah, who was part of the XI against Pakistan, flew back to India for the birth of his first child before the game against Nepal.

While lauding Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya’s rescue effort with the bat against Pakistan after India’s top-order was blown away, Rohit also urged for improvement in the bowling department.

“But once we move ahead in the Super Fours, there’s no room for complacency like that. We need to be on the money and we need to keep ticking those boxes, which I thought we did pretty all right in these two games that we played,” he said.

“n the first game under pressure, lost four wickets Hardik and Ishan batted brilliantly to get us to a good score. And then today with the ball, I thought we were okay, not great, but fielding was below par. That is something that we had to be really looking into, something that we cannot afford to do going into tournaments like World Cup and also Asia Cup. It’s a big tournament, so a lot of things for us to look at. Hopefully moving ahead, we can look into all those things.”

India will next face Pakistan in their first Super 4s match on Sunday, September 10.

Published On:

Sep 5, 2023

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