Team India will be playing a bunch of series of the World Cup 2019, however, the Indian skipper Rohit Sharma reckons that the six-nation Asia Cup starting Saturday will give India a chance to find a “perfect combination” going into next year’s mega event. The Indian team management is still figuring out a perfect middle order combination for the ODIs even as they have a settled top three batsmen in stand-in skipper himself, Shikhar Dhawan and regular skipper Virat Kohli.
When asked if the Asia Cup will be a build up to next year’s World Cup in England, Rohit said: “In a way, you can say that. Every team wants to go to the World Cup in a good frame of mind. But we shouldn’t be looking too far ahead. Obviously, the Asia Cup gives every team an opportunity to get the combination right before the World Cup.”
However, during the captains’ press meet, the veteran batsman said that while the World Cup will be at the back of his mind, it is better to take one game at a time.
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Talking about the same, Sharma said, “I won’t understand how Angie (Angelo Mathews), Sarfraz (Ahmed) or Mashrafe (Mortaza) are looking at it and what their strengths and weaknesses are. But as the tournament progresses, we will understand what the teams are doing. A lot of players will get an opportunity to stake the claim for a berth in that World Cup squad. It’s a great opportunity to try for that perfect combination.”
India will be commencing their Asia Cup campaign against Hong Kong on September 18 before taking on arch-rivals Pakistan the next day. While India versus Pakistan games have always been considered as the marquee events, Rohit said it’s not just about one match.
Describing the same, Rohit said, “Pakistan has played some great cricket of late and we are looking forward to that clash. However, by no means, I am saying that focus should be on one game as all the games that are going to be played over here will be quite competitive. The focus should be on the whole tournament because every nation is eyeing that title. Also for the first time, I am captaining in a full tournament and it’s exciting for me personally.”
Rohit also played in Dubai in a representative tournament for India A, way back in 2006. He also expressed his happiness of coming back to the city. When asked about the weather, the stand-in skipper said it’s not really pleasant and also felt that the group that was in England for the Test series needed the break to rejuvenate themselves. He also said that the team is willing to play some good cricket this time around.
Here is the video of the press conference: