We just have to use our experience against Shaheen and Co: Rohit Sharma

07:51 PM Sep 01, 2023 | PTI |

Pallekele: India skipper Rohit Sharma on Friday said his batters will have to rely on their rich experience to counter Pakistan’s potent pace trio in the much-awaited Asia Cup clash here on Saturday.


A mouth-watering contest awaits when the likes of Rohit and Virat Kohli face the highly skilled Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

“We don’t have Shaheen, Naseem and Rauf in our nets. We practice with the bowlers we have. They are all quality bowlers. We just have to use our experience to play them tomorrow,” Rohit said on the eve of the game when asked about his team’s plans against the highly skilled pace attack.

Tournament is not a fitness test

With a few key players entering the Asia Cup after their recent recovery from injuries, Rohit asserted that the tournament is not a fitness test and the team will have to put its game face on.


India’s Group A match against Pakistan will see pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Prasidh Krishna and middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer returning to the ODI set-up after a considerable time.

“By no means this (Asia Cup 2023) is a fitness test. This tournament is played between the top six Asian teams. So, it’s a very big tournament.

”The fitness test, fitness camp…. all that was done in Bangalore. Now, we have to go ahead and get our game face on and see what we can achieve in this (tournament),” said Rohit here during the pre-match press conference.

After a considerable time, India will enter a tournament with a near-full squad, barring injured KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant.

Rohit said it’s good to have several players to choose from for an important tournament.

“I would probably have this kind of headache, rather than having no headache. It’s always nice to have a good pool of players to choose from, and to have such kind of competition as well.

“It’s going to be quite a challenging task for us to make the playing 11. But I want to make sure that we have no injury concerns and that will be a good sign for us to move forward,” said Rohit.

Rohit did not divulge much on India’s combination for the match against Pakistan but he said the team has all its bases covered for the game.

“Look, all sorts of combinations are available. Looking at how the game was played yesterday (Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka), a bit of swing, bit of spin, we saw everything.

”It is always challenging for the batters. Luckily, we’ve got experience in our batting lineup. I will let that experience come and play accordingly,” he said.

Rohit said it will be important for batsmen to play according to the situation.

“This is not a T20 game so we need to apply a bit longer. So, the whole idea is to be aggressive and be an individual to allow them to play their game. A lot of them actually are quite experienced and have played in these types of conditions.

“So, they know exactly what sort of game plan and what kind of mindset they need to have when they’re playing against a quality opposition,” added Rohit.


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