India will face New Zealand in the first semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Wednesday.
With the Kiwis aiming to make it to their third consecutive World Cup final appearance after 2015 and 2019, India are determined to break the knock-out barrier that has eluded them since their last major ICC title in 2013. that, the higher challenge is facing a team that has historically created significant challenges in must-win games.
Before the match, skipper Rohit said in a pre-match press conference, “Look right from the first match we played, there should be a lot of pressure since these are World Cup matches. We did well on the field and we handled the pressure well. In the upcoming games too we are trying to play good cricket like we have played so far. We want to focus on our game and the opposition.”
“There is noise from outside that we have to win the game, score 100, get a five-wicket haul. We are used to things like that. We are focusing on the game and the challenges of the opposition at hand,” he said.
On players like Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav and even himself bowling in the final series match against the Netherlands, Rohit said the focus was on creating more bowling options from game one of the World Cup and allowing others irregular. bowlers roll their arm. “When Hardik Pandya was injured, our combination was disturbed. We have our options but I hope we don’t need them. In the last hour, we could have other people bowl as the situation allows us to do it ,” he said. When asked how New Zealand impressed him, Rohit said, “They are probably the most disciplined team in terms of how they want to play. They play some smart cricket and understand their opponents well. They have played with many of our players at different tournaments and stages and they also understand us very well. They have been very consistent since 2015 especially, reaching the semi-finals and finals of various tournaments. We are following every team, their strengths and weaknesses and on that basis, we try to play our game.”
Regarding India who won the World Cup in the past in 1983 and 2011, Rohit said that the current crop of players are focused on the spot and self-improvement.
“When we won the first World Cup, none of us were born. When we won the second World Cup in 2011, half of us didn’t even start playing. The top players we have now are not talking about how we won those two. The World Cup gives the team something valuable and what they need to improve on,” Rohit said.
When asked about the relaxed atmosphere of the team and activities like giving out ‘Fielder of the Match’ medals, Rohit said that a conscious effort has been made by the team to keep the atmosphere happy and relaxed since when one takes the pitch, it comes under performance pressure. .
“We have made a conscious effort that the atmosphere of the team should not depend on the result of the match. In Dharamshala, we did a lot of team activities like a fashion show. We want to stay calm because when you are in the ground, the pressure is there. It is up to the individuals how to tackle the game,” said Rohit.
Rohit said that he is not focused on his own journey as a player and will only think about it after November 19, the day of the tournament’s grand finale at Ahmedabad.
“Until then, it’s pure business and doing the job for the team,” Rohit said.
The skipper said that one has to follow certain processes during such a big tournament and the team’s first focus was to qualify for the semi-finals.
“Nine games in the league stage is a lot. It’s the equivalent of two or three bilateral series. You have to break it down to different games, opposition and venues and therefore strategies. It was about breaking things into moving parts and things forward. You have to follow different strategies, methods and policies to play nine games against nine teams in different places. We did that very well. In the first four games, we won and we were in popular then we won as we batted first for the rest of the game. There is no need to do anything different from what we have done so far,” said Rohit.
India Squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishan Kishan, Prasidh Krishna, Suryakumar Yadav.
New Zealand Squad: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Will Young.
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