“Don’t Think We Are Lagging”: Rohit Sharma On India Struggling In Multi-Nation Tournaments

Team India’s hopes of making it to the final of the ongoing Asia Cup received a severe dent as the Rohit Sharma-led side stumbled to a six-wicket loss against Sri Lanka in the Super 4 stage at the Dubai International Stadium. As a result of this defeat, India are now dependent on both Afghanistan and Sri Lanka in order to make the final. Both Sri Lanka and Afghanistan need to beat Pakistan and India needs to get the better of Afghanistan by a decent margin to make it to the final on the basis of a better net run rate.

After the loss against Sri Lanka, Rohit addressed a press conference where he spoke about whether Team India should start worrying and why the side is lagging behind in multi-nation tournaments of late.

“I don’t think we are lagging behind anywhere (in multi-nation tournaments). The quality is there within the team, I think somewhere down the line, when there is a multi-nation tournament, pressure is more. In bilaterals, you play 3-5 matches against a single opponent, there you have the chance to read the mindset of the opposition. But when you play tournaments like World Cup, Asia Cup, the challenge is in playing against different teams,” said Rohit.

“We have talked about this in our dressing room, we have talked about how we can stay ahead of the game. Unfortunately, we did not go to the semifinals of the T20 World Cup last year, we have lost two matches here in Asia Cup. But it is a challenge for us, every player on our team knows the challenge. But if you look at our history in ICC tournaments, you can see that we have played semi-finals, final and we have also won the final in the past. I do not think, we need to think too much about it. Our work is to help players understand how to make better decisions under pressure situations,” he added.

When asked whether the team has any reason to start worrying, Rohit said: “There is no worry. If you lose two matches, it does not mean that you start worrying. In our dressing room, such talks don’t take place. We have played many matches after the World Cup and we have won so many, just because we have lost these two matches in the Asia Cup, I do not think there is a reason to worry. Experienced batters get out and experienced bowlers are taken for runs, this all is normal and it keeps happening.”

“I do not think we should start worrying. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been playing for so many years, he has won so many matches for us at the death. 1-2 bad games do not mean that we start judging him,” he added.

Talking about the match against Sri Lanka, India posted 173/8 in 20 overs, owing to a 72-run knock by skipper Rohit. However, India were unable to defend the target and Sri Lanka got over the line with six wickets in hand and one ball to spare.

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“Our team is almost 95 per cent settled. There are just a few changes that will happen. That’s about it, talking about experiments, we wanted to try out some different things. If you look at the combination that we have been playing before the start of the Asia Cup, it was with four seamers, two spinners and the second spinner was an all-rounder. But I always wanted to try and find answers on what happens if you play with three seamers,” said Rohit.

“When you are playing games like these, against quality opposition, you have to challenge yourself. We just wanted to try and see what happens if we play three seamers, in hindsight, the fourth seamer that was here was not available for selection for the last two games because he was sick. There are a lot of questions that we need to answer, we found some answers in the last few series. After this, we have two more series to play, I do not know when the team will be announced for World Cup, till then it is not announced, we can certainly try a few more players,” he added.

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