Rohit Sharma downplays rivalry with Pakistan ahead of crucial match

India captain Rohit Sharma spoke to the media ahead of India’s Asia Cup 2023 opener against Pakistan, downplaying talk of rivalry between the two teams.

On Saturday, September 2, India will face Pakistan in the first match of the Asia Cup 2023 in Pallekele. While the rivalry makes this a highly anticipated match, Rohit stated that for Team India, this is just another opponent.

“There are six very competitive teams in the Asia Cup, and on any given day, anyone can beat anyone,” the captain said ahead of the match at a press conference.

“Rivalry exists for people to discuss. What we see as a team is that we have an opponent to play tomorrow and see what we want to do. What will help us is to continue doing the right things on the field.”

Pakistan recently climbed to No. 1 in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Team Rankings, and India’s captain acknowledged the opposition’s strong form ahead of this tournament.

“Pakistan has performed admirably in recent T20Is and ODIs.” They worked extremely hard to achieve No. 1, and it will be a good test for us tomorrow,” he added.

Pakistan kicked off their Asia Cup campaign with a thrashing of Nepal in the first game in Multan. Despite an early hiccup, they went on to post a competitive score and then were clinical with the ball to get the tournament off to a good start.

Shaheen Shah Afridi led their new ball charge, picking up two wickets in the first over against Nepal and posing a significant threat to India tomorrow.

When asked about the Pakistan pace attack threat, Rohit stated that the team would rely on experience to counter the pace trio.

“Look, we don’t have Shaheen, Naseem, or Rauf in the nets.” We practice with the people we have. They are all excellent bowlers. “All we have to do now is use our experience to play them tomorrow,” he said.

The captain also downplayed the importance of the toss, stating that winning the toss would not guarantee victory in the match.

“We try to keep our goals small and see what comes our way.” We have Pakistan to deal with tomorrow, so we’ll focus on that first, then look ahead. We have given many players time, and they will have another chance in a tournament with six teams. We have addressed the issues we wanted to address. Now we want to concentrate on succeeding in these games.”