Rohit Sharma targets playing in upcoming 50-over WC and WTC final

PTI, Apr 12, 2024, 4:19 PM IST

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With the hurt of India’s defeats to Australia in the WTC and the World Cup finals still burning his mind, skipper Rohit Sharma nourishes the dream of playing in those tournaments’ upcoming editions in 2025 and 2027.

The 36-year-old Rohit was part of India’s 2007 T20 World Cup victory, but he counts the 50-over showpiece as the real stuff.

”I am playing well at the moment and I am thinking of continuing for a few more years. I really want to win that World Cup. The 50-over World Cup is the actual World Cup. We have grown up watching the 50-over World Cup.

”There is the World Test Championship final happening at Lord’s in 2025. Hopefully, we will make it there,” Rohit said in a YouTube chat show – Breakfast With Champions – that was also attended by British pop singer Ed Sheeran.

Six months have passed since India succumbed to Australia in the World Cup final at Ahmedabad, but Rohit found it tough to come to terms with that defeat. ”It was happening in India. We played well until that final. When we won the semis, I thought, we were just one step away from it (victory). I thought, what’s that one thing that can make us lose that final, and honestly, nothing came to my mind,” he said.

The Mumbaikar eventually found a shelter in that ready answer – one bad day on the field. ”We’d ticked all the boxes, we were playing good cricket, confidence was there. But that was one bad day and the Aussies had a very good day. I don’t think we played bad cricket in that final,” he noted. However, Rohit found some solace in India’s resounding 4-1 Test series win over England recently at home.

But the Indian captain said the series was not a cakewalk as the eventual scoreline suggested. ”You might enter the field with a plan, but when you see things moving differently, you have to change it. ”When we played recently against England, we came across a different team, they were playing cricket differently. Each batter came and challenged us. So, we had to change our mindset,” he said.

Rohit did not find it amusing that the visiting teams have a tough time on Indian shores, and in fact, he equated himself with their travails. ”It is difficult to win away from home. They make life difficult when you are away. It is the same for other countries as well because it is not easy when they come to India. You want to take advantage of that (home conditions),” he explained.

It brought the talk to his favourite moment in Test cricket, and the elegant right-hander picked his maiden hundred as the most cherished one. Batting at No. 6, Rohit made a 301-ball 177 against the West Indies at Kolkata, which was also the farewell series of Sachin Tendulkar. ”India is all about scoring that hundred and then the crowd erupts. My first hundred was in a Test match at Kolkata. It was Sachin Tendulkar’s 199th Test, so the stadium was packed, some 70000 people in the stadium. Probably it was (the best moment),” he added. ‘IPL has grown so much’ =============== Rohit, who has not missed a season of the Indian Premier League since its inception in 2008, said now there was no weak team in the league, a remarkable shapeshifting from its early years.

”IPL has grown so much in the last decade or so and every team is now competitive. I don’t think there is any weak team in the IPL. It is something like EPL first division where any team can beat any team. ”But it was not like that when it started off. Now, there is so much technology involved, people are aware what gaps are to be filled, so they get the right players from the auction etc,” he offered. Rohit also shared his memory of playing alongside the legendary Shane Warne in the IPL. ”I used to play against Shane when he was leading Rajasthan Royals and I was with (now-extinct) Deccan (Chargers). He got superb cricketing brains, and he thinks about cricket in a different angle. ”Adam Gilchrist was his teammate (in Australia), and he played for us (Chargers) and he used to tell us how good he was. Even while commentating he (Warne) used to predict what’s going to happen in the next two or three balls.”

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