Tue, 05 Dec 2023

Pallekele [Sri Lanka], September 1 (ANI): Ahead of the electrifying clash against Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023, Team India captain Rohit Sharma played down the talk of rivalry between the two teams and pointed out that all three pace bowlers - Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj- are in good form. Men in Blue will take on Pakistan at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in their Asia Cup 2023 opener on Saturday.

On the eve of the India and Pakistan clash, Rohit answered some burning questions about Men in Blue's strategies and the fitness of pace bowlers.

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

"Rivalry is there for people to talk about. As a team, what we see is we have an opposition to play tomorrow and see what we want to do. What is going to help us is to keep doing the right things on the field," he added.

India captain is hopeful that fans will witness arch-rivals play against each other in the final of this tournament.

Talking about the possible clash against Pakistan in this tournament, Rohit said, "Probably maybe in this tournament. Pakistan have played really well in recent times in T20s and ODIs. They worked really hard to be No.1, it'll be a good challenge for us tomorrow."Rohit said there all six bowlers are in great form and especially star pacer Jasprit Bumrah's return in the squad is a positive sign for Team India.

"All six blowers are great bowlers. Bumarh played well in Ireland and looked good. He looked good in training camp at Bengaluru, which is a good sign for us. All three pacers are in good shape it's a positive sign for us," he added.

Pakistan recently rose to No.1 in the ICC Men's ODI Team Rankings and the Indian skipper acknowledged the opposition's good form heading into this tournament.

"Pakistan have played really well in recent times in both T20Is and ODIs. They worked really hard to be No.1 and it'll be a good challenge for us tomorrow," he added.

With the presence of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah and Shadab Khan in their attack, Pakistan possesses one of the most dangerous attacks in world cricket.

Asked about the threat of the Pakistan pace attack, Rohit said that the team would bank on experience to counter the pace trio.

"Look, in the nets, we don't have Shaheen, Naseem or Rauf. We practice with who we have. They are all quality bowlers. We just have to use our experience to play them tomorrow," he said.

The skipper also played down the role of toss, stating that there was no guarantee that they can win the match should they win the toss.

"We try to keep our goals small and see what's in front of us. We have Pakistan to face tomorrow and we will focus on that first and then look ahead. We have given time to many players and they have another opportunity in a tournament where six teams play. The issues we want to address, we have addressed. Now we want to focus on doing well in these games.," Rohit added. (ANI)

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