Rohit, Cummins sit pretty as England, Pak skippers scratch their heads


Indian skipper Rohit Sharma along with others during a practice session at ahead of their match against England at Ekana Stadium on October 29 (ANI)

England’s title defence sunk to a new low as they registered their fourth loss of the tournament to Sri Lanka on Thursday at Bengaluru

Our Bureau
Chennai/Lucknow/New Delhi

Indian skipper Rohit Sharma has said that while managing players, it is important to keep everyone in a good mental space and he puts himself in everyone’s shoes to understand what they might need. Rohit has earned praise both for his brisk batting and captaincy during the World Cup.

India will take on England in their World Cup match on Sunday. India have won all five of their matches so far, England has had a disastrous campaign having lost four of their five matches. Speaking on Star Sports show ‘Follow the Blues’, Rohit said it is very important to hear everyone out and understand what they want.

“I think when it comes to managing players, it is quite important that you understand the individual first and their requirement, what are the likes and dislikes of that particular individual because you know in a team sport it is just not about one or two individuals or few individuals, it is about everyone. We do understand as well that when you want to win championships, big tournaments, everyone needs to come to the party and play their part. So, it is important that you keep everyone in good mental space,” he said.

Rohit said he acquired some captaincy skills with experience.

“It is very important to hear everyone out, understand what they want, how they want to operate and things like that and then you take everything into consideration and move forward and that is something that I always do. I try and put myself in their shoes and think about what this individual will be needing now. So, it is important to think like that and you know luckily, I have got a good bunch of guys around me; the players, the support staff are quite understanding in terms of the requirement of the team, the players and everyone.

“That is something that I would not say comes naturally to me, I have learned it over the years, gone through my personal experiences and understood what is needed for a team to be successful. I think what is needed to be successful is to understand everyone’s need, their requirement and give them that space and freedom to go and execute their job and their roles. It can be quite daunting at times because when you are playing such a high-profile tournament, the pressure can get to you at times. So, it is important to just stay together as a team, understand what each one needs to be in that good zone where they can come out and play free cricket and not worry about what is happening outside,” he concluded.

Buttler reflects on team’s terrible campaign

Following his side’s eight-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in the ICC Cricket World Cup, England skipper Jos Buttler said on Thursday that he cannot point out a reason why his side has had a disappointing tournament so far and admitted that he himself has been far from best in this tournament as a captain and player.

England’s title defence sunk to a new low as they registered their fourth loss of the tournament to Sri Lanka on Thursday at Bengaluru. Halfway through the tournament, England has won only one match and looks pretty much out of the competition.

“It has been an incredibly tough and incredibly disappointing tournament. Disappointed in myself and all the boys that we have not shown a good account of ourselves. There is no clear answer at the moment [as to why that’s the case]. Cannot really fault the boys’ efforts but we are playing a long way short of our best. It starts from the front, as Captain you want to lead from the front and play well and I have been a long way short of my best. [Confidence drained away?] Not really to be honest, there are a lot of experienced cricketers in the room, who have been through a lot – confident people. You don’t become a bad player overnight, you don’t become a bad team overnight.”

“I think that’s probably the biggest frustration, that we have been so far short of our best, and for no obvious reason. Just can not put my finger on it at the moment. [uncertainty over strategy?] Selection is something you want to be consistent, build that trust. But selection is not a problem at the moment, performance is. Whoever has been on the field so far has been short of the standards we set ourselves. The kind of mistakes we are all making, you do not see that usually. We have not been doing the basic things well. [What to cling to?] The biggest thing is personal pride, whatever happens in the rest of the tournament we want to give a good account of ourselves going forward,” he added.

With this loss, England has lost its fourth match in five games and are at the second-last spot in the points table. Sri Lanka has its second win in five matches and with four points, are now at fifth spot in the table. England is pretty much out of the tournament, especially with in-form teams like India, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia having more games in hand.

“I haven’t been performing well”: Shadab Khan

Pakistan vice-captain Shadab Khan has stated that his performance during the ongoing World Cup has been below par. During a pre-match press conference on Thursday ahead of Pakistan’s match against South Africa, Shadab stated that the Pakistan team will strive to make a comeback in the tournament after three consecutive losses.

Shadab has only taken two wickets in four games in the marquee event and has been facing criticism from the fans and many former players. He has 74 runs scored in three innings with the bat.

“The criticism is valid because I haven’t been performing well recently. I’m not performing well in such a big tournament, but it’s not like I’m always the same. There are always ups and downs in cricket,” Shadab said in a pre-match press conference.

He also admitted that Pakistan’s bowlers have not come up to expectations.

“I think all our bowlers are bowling in good rhythm. They have done good bowling in patches. I am not doing well, but the rest of the bowlers are bowling really well in patches. I told you before the World Cup started that the team with the best bowling form would be seen at the top. So, it is being seen that way because in pitches where there are more runs, you win (through) the bowling…. We have to work in all three fields [all three departments, batting, bowling and fielding]. But I feel that the way our bowling lineup is, it has underperformed a lot in the World Cup. As a bowling unit, we will have to get up and win for our team,” he said.

Pakistan, who were among the favourites before the start of the tournament, have suffered three consecutive defeats and the loss to India and Afghanistan has particularly rankled the fans. Pakistan now have a steep task ahead to make it to the semifinals.

Shadab said the team underperformed in all three matches. We haven’t underperformed this way before. We know that we are not playing good cricket. But our team has bounced back from this situation before and hopefully, we will come out of this situation,” the all-rounder said.

“We are in a good space”: Pat Cummins

Following Australia’s record-breaking 309-run win against the Netherlands in the 24th match of the ODI World Cup 2023 at Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday, Aussie skipper Pat Cummins said that he is happy to put 400 runs on the scoreboard and defend it well.

While talking at the post-match presentation, Cummins said that he and Maxwell both contributed equally to the 100-run partnership.

He added that they were aiming to get wickets in the powerplay and bowled quite well without a lot of luck.

However, Cummins also stated that he doesn’t think that they have nailed the 50 overs with the bat yet.

“Really happy, complete game. To put 400 on board and then defend well, couldn’t be happier. Crazy innings. I think we both contributed equally in that hundred partnership (chuckles). Those fantastic innings were the cleanest hitting I’ve seen. We played the style we liked to. Please with Smithy getting runs. We were aiming for powerplay wickets and bowled quite well without a lot of luck. Zamps with another four-fer. They (New Zealand) are a really good side. Big game in Dharamsala. It’s the World Cup and we are in a good space, can’t wait to get there. (Areas to improve) I don’t think we have totally nailed the 50 overs with the bat yet,” Cummins said.

Coming to the match, Australia opted to bat first and scored 399/8 in just 50 overs. Maxwell (106) and David Warner (104 in 93 balls with 11 fours and three sixes) led the onslaught with their centuries. In the run-chase inning, Adam Zampa bagged four wickets and Mitchell Marsh scalped two wickets in their respective spells to stop Netherlands at 90 runs to seal a stellar win.

Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins took one wicket each.

On the other hand, no Dutch batsman could score more than 25 runs.

Glenn Maxwell was named the Player of the Match after his 106-run knock from 44 balls.

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