After World Cup heartbreak, Rohit Sharma and team look to lift T20I World Cup in New York


Rohit Sharma with the trophy after winning the 3rd T20I match against Afghanistan on Thursday (ANI)

T20 World Cup fixtures that will be hosted in New York: Sri Lanka vs South Africa (June 3), India vs Ireland (June 5), Canada vs Ireland (June 7), Netherlands vs South Africa (June 8), India vs Pakistan (June 9), South Africa vs Bangladesh (June 10), Pakistan vs Canada (June 11), USA vs India (June 12)

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New Delhi

India skipper Rohit Sharma is looking to cash in on the opportunity of lifting the T20 World Cup 2024, after suffering a heartbreak in the final of last year’s ODI World Cup against Australia on home soil.

India’s 12-year wait to get their hands on the coveted World Cup trophy ended on a bitter note as Travis Head’s (137) blitz extended Australia’s record-breaking tally to six. With the T20 World Cup set to kick off in June, Rohit talked about overcoming the nightmares of the past and seizing the opportunity that lies ahead of them.

“The 50-over World Cup is the biggest World Cup for me. It’s not that I don’t give importance to the T20 World Cup and the World Test Championships. But, we grew up watching the 50-over World Cup. And when it takes place in India, it’s a very big event. We tried. Unfortunately, we couldn’t win. The whole team was sad. I am sure all the fans were sad too. But we have one more opportunity now and we’ll focus on how to use that opportunity and win the World Cup,” Rohit said as quoted by Sports 18.

The Indian team along with the fans were left after India’s loss, India speedster Mohammed Shami was unable to pinpoint what went wrong during the match.

Rohit along with many other players left the field distraught and with tears in their eyes. Next week India returned to play a five-match T20I series against Australia and won the series by 3-2.

The Indian skipper stated that he doesn’t feel any player needs motivation as they are willing to leave their mark and want to make the most of the opportunity.

“I don’t think anyone here needs motivation. All the boys want to leave their imprint. Not everyone gets a chance to play for India, so I am sure all the boys who are here, want to make the most of it. You can see that they are making the most of the opportunities they are getting. That makes my and Rahul bhai’s (Dravid) job a lot easier from that perspective. We just need to provide clarity,” Rohit added.

Parthiv bats for Rohit and Virat’s future

Former India cricketer Parthiv Patel doesn’t see the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan as a selection series for the World Cup and feels that Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli’s selection indicates that they are going to the T20 World Cup.

“I don’t see this series as a selection series for the World Cup. I don’t think any player performing or not will impact their chances of World Cup selection, specially when you are talking about Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli. Once you have picked them for the series, it means they are going for the World Cup. For Rohit Sharma personally, he would like to score runs. He likes to set the tone and if he gets in, he would like to make it a big one,” Partiv said as quoted from JioCinema.

In both matches, India successfully managed to chase down the targets and registered six-wicket victories. Former

Former cricketer Saba Karim feels that India should once again look to chase down the target and test their batting depth in the final T20I should they get an opportunity.

“I hope they do that in Bengaluru. Not only to put the bowlers under scanner but also to check the depth of your batting. Players like Axar Patel and Washington Sundar, who come down the order, may get a look in. Then you can understand if you want to play three seamers or spinners in the playing XI, once Hardik Pandya comes in,” Karim said.

Hardik Pandya has been out of action because of an ankle injury (ANI)

Not finalised squad for T20 World Cup: Rohit

India skipper Rohit Sharma confirmed on Thursday that they still haven’t finalised the squad for the upcoming 2024 T20 World Cup. Speaking to JioCinema, Rohit said he has a few players on his mind who are going to feature in the tournament.

“We have still not finalised the squad for the T20 World Cup, but obviously in the mind you know the 8-10 players who are going to play. Then you decide on the combination after looking at the conditions of the place you will be travelling to. In the West Indies, the conditions are quite slow, so we have to pick the squad accordingly. Again I say, Rahul bhai and I have tried to maintain clarity in the team. The one thing I have learnt from captaincy is that you can’t keep everyone happy. You have to focus on the needs of the team,” Rohit said.

The 36-year-old said he discussed ideas with head coach Rahul Dravid before the start of the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan since he had not played 20-over games for almost one year.

The skipper revealed that he used to watch T20I matches even when he was not playing, so he “got an understanding of a few things”.

“We had a lot of discussions before the series. I had not played for one year, so I discussed ideas with Rahul bhai (Dravid). Although I was watching the games, I was not playing. I got an understanding of a few things, so we wanted to implement them and also do something different,” he added.

He added that the team management wanted their bowling attack to be used in a different way. “We wanted our bowlers to bowl in a different way, someone wasn’t comfortable bowling in the power play, so we had to use them there. Some were not comfortable bowling at the death, we asked them to bowl there,” he added.

When asked about leading a young squad in the series against the Afghans, he said that it was challenging at one point but they are trying a lot of players currently.

Rohit featured in a T20I game after spending more than a year away from the format in the recently concluded series against Afghanistan. With two ducks to his name in the first two games, Rohit went on to score a record-breaking 121* off 69 deliveries. Afghanistan managed to draw the game and force the clash to super over. The first super over ended on level terms, but in the second Rohit’s fireworks and Bishnoi’s composure saw the hosts clinch the series by 3-0.

Aakash Chopra backs for Shivam & Hardik

Indian cricketer-turned-commentator Aakash Chopra opined that India can pick both all-rounders Shivam Dube and Hardik Pandya in the squad for the much-awaited T20 World Cup, starting from June in the West Indies and in the United States of America.

The 46-year-old asserted that the Dube reminds him of former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh as he attacks the bowler in the same way. He said that the 30-year-old should bat a little down the order for India.

“Shivam Ati Sundaram – his power is talking loudly. I felt he was sent slightly early in the third match. You could have sent either Sanju Samson or Rinku Singh ahead of him because he is not a grafter, he is an attacker. He reminds me of Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh). So you need to keep him slightly down the order,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

The former batter further added that both Hardik and Dube should be there in the T20 World Cup squad.

“The way he hit sixes in the first two matches, the power was evident. Some people have even said to leave Hardik and pick Dube. I am saying keep both. Shivam Dube is a real contender based on these three matches. If he does well in the IPL, it will be the icing on the cake,” the former India opener added.

The pitch to be used for India-Pakistan match

Ahead of the 2024 T20 World Cup, Adelaide Oval head groundsman Damien Hough explained on Friday the making of the pitch in New York at Eisenhower Park that would be used for the India-Pakistan match in the extravagant ICC tournament.

While speaking to Channel 7, Hough said that the job is a bit tricky.

“It’s a bit tricky, we basically built six of the 10 trays here in Adelaide. We made them modular. We’re really proud of them. We’ve got a couple out of the back that will probably come out here [on Adelaide Oval] next year,” Hough was quoted by ESPNcricinfo as saying.

He confirmed that the pitch in New York’s Eisenhower Park is currently in the “grow-in phase”.

“We put them in a shipping container and send them really wherever we want around the world. But they’ve gone over to Florida. And I’ve just come back from a month of work over there putting the trays together, putting the soil in, compacting them and putting the grass on. So we’re in the grow-in phase,” he said.

“It’s a lot of work that’s gone into it so far. But the real work starts around the start of May. It’ll take two days to transport them up which is quite incredible. Never done that before. So, there’s a lot of firsts. And then there’s getting them in the ground,” he said.

While concluding, he added that the high-voltage match between India-Pakistan will also be played there and “which will be amazing.”

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