The last two matches for India have been nothing short of disappointing as there were two lost tosses, two last over defeats, two leaking 19th overs, and still, the list can go on where India lacked resulting in a definite exit from the Asia Cup 2022 tournament.
All these concerns of fans and pundits are not something Indian skipper Rohit Sharma is too concerned about. According to him, this was never the ultimate target and his press conference sounded like Asia Cup was never taken seriously by the Indian team and they were just experimenting with the combinations and squads for the T20 World Cup which is a sad, really sad fact in itself when a team that is most probable to win does something to sabotage the campaign intentionally.
Did team India bring themselves to this point intentionally? Did Rohit never intend to win the Asia Cup? Did team selection was botched from the start? These are many questions that an average cricket fan would like to have answers to from the Indian team management and their skipper.
When Saurav Ganguly wished the team luck and instructed them to take the Asia Cup seriously it was taken as a positive gesture as in the recent past India had never played Asia Cup with their best team. Those times were different as none of the Asian teams posed a threat at that time but now things have changed, cricket has changed, and teams are doing good in the shortest format which itself is becoming more and more unpredictable.
In the press conference after the Sri Lanka loss, Rohit Sharma seemed nothing but careless about all these points saying, “we found some answers” and “90-95% of the team was settled”.
He was more concerned about the mood in the dressing room which according to him is still positive and even invited blokes to see inside the dressing room if it pleases them.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong, it looks like it from the outside, but we don’t look at it that way,” Rohit said. “I’ve been at many press conferences, and when you lose such questions will be asked. It’s normal. But as far as the team is concerned you can go in [the dressing room] and see, all the boys are relaxed and chilled. We need to have such an atmosphere whether you win or lose.”
Convinced? No? Okay, worry not. He wasn’t going to stop there.
“We’ve worked hard to make the team atmosphere that way and all the boys are happy about it. If the dressing room mood is good, eventually the performances you see will happen on the ground. Before the World Cup, it’s important for us to keep the atmosphere good and not judge the boys by wins or losses, performances, and non-performances. Because whoever is here, they’re all good. That thought we need to be consistent with.”
Rohit Sharma then continued with his sheer grit to ignore the fact that Deepak Hooda was brought in place of Ravindra Jadeja but he didn’t bowl in even one of the two matches he played, if this was always going to happen then why not Dinesh Karthik in place of Deepak Hooda.
“Yes, there are a lot of questions we need to answer, and along the way, in the three-four series we’ve played, we have found some answers. There will be a time where we will draw a line and say, ‘this is the combination we want to play for the World Cup.’ After this, we have two more series and then the World Cup. Till our squad is announced, we can try out a few players.”
On the question of the sixth bowler, Rohit continued “See, it is simple. We wanted a left-hander to bat in the middle,” Rohit said. “That’s why Dinesh Karthik is out. Not because of form or anything. We wanted a left-hand batter in the middle to take pressure off, but it didn’t happen. But by no means DK has been dropped because of poor form. We always want to have flexibility in the group. We will keep changing players every now and then depending on the opposition. Four-five batters will play, but there will always be those one-two changes in the batting.”