India captain Rohit Sharma played down hype around Saturday’s Asia Cup blockbuster against Pakistan, saying their are four more teams in the tournament and they are using the tournament to seek few answers for the home World Cup later this year.
“For us it is a big tournament ahead of the ODI WOrld Cup. Last year we also played in this tournament ahead of the T20 World Cup. It’s a good tournament where your skills, and your ability of playing under pressure… everything will be tested,” Rohit told journalist Vimal Kumar on Khul Ke ahead of the much-anticipated India-Pakistan clash.
“I don’t see Asia Cup just as a preparation. It is a big tournament for us to find out few answers ahead of the World Cup. Our focus is to play well in the Asia Cup,” he said.
Starting today, India and Pakistan can potentially clash three times over the next two weeks in the Asia Cup. Bilateral cricket has been a victim of strained political ties between India and Pakistan over the last decade and a half and the neighbouring countries now play each other only in multi-team events at neutral venues.
Rohit Sharma also played down the talk that Asia Cup has been reduced to a India-Pakistan bilateral series.
“No no it’s not like that. Fans and media can say that it is kind of one-day series between India and Pakistan but we must not forget that there are other teams as well,” he said.
“Sri Lanka won the Asia Cup last year, they played extremely well. Anyone can win Asia Cup. You can’t only afford to think that we are only playing against one team. There are four other teams, it’s just not about one opponent,” he added.
Team India captain Rohit Sharma said that he delighted to see Jasprit Bumrah back in the action but doesn’t want to put the bowler under any kind of unnecessary pressure
“It was good to see Bumrah back in action after so long. He is a very key player for us. Both Bumrah and Prasidh played two games in Ireland and they bowled well. It was a good sign for us. Both of them has worked hard in the past one and half years at the NCA,” he said.
I am happy that he is back from the injury after so long. I am glad to see him in action. But it will be very unfair for me to talk about one player. It is a team and you need contribution from every individual to win a tournament, you need to have peroformance from everyone.
“I don’t want to put him under any unecessary pressure with any expectations. If you are playing for India, there always be pressure and expectations, they are like brothers. It’s not going anywhere. So it is better that one should focus on the goals of the team.”