‘It’s not that I don’t like that person’: Rohit Sharma on World Cup squad selection | Cricket News

Rohit Sharma is aware of the immense pressure that a home World Cup brings, but the Indian captain wants to shield himself from outside chatter as he embarks on the arduous journey to win the country's first ICC trophy in one decade to win. The 36-year-old India captain, who harbors more than a billion hopes, knows what's at stake in the ODI World Cup, which kicks off on October 5 with England v New Zealand in Ahmedabad.

“For me it's important that I stay relaxed and not worry about external factors that play a role, positive or non-negative. I want to rule everything out,” Rohit said in an exclusive interview with PTI Lager in Benglauru shortly before his Asian Cup appearance.

“I want to go back to where I was before the 2019 World Cup,” said Rohit, who carries an aura of zen even in the most tense of situations.

The same calm was evident as he offered his point of view in an uncomplicated manner during the interview, as was the serious face of his racquet when it hit the bowler's back drive.

“I was in great spirits and preparing really well for the tournament,” he said of the last edition, in which he hit 648 runs with an unprecedented five hundred to become the top run-getter.

“I was in good shape, had a good attitude. I want to bring that back and I have time for that. I'm trying to remember what were the right things to do as a cricketer and as a person before the 2019 World Cup. Me.” “I'd like to reconsider my train of thought personally,” said the captain.

World Cups and the vagaries of their outcomes can change many things, but for Rohit, a month of cricket cannot make or break the player he is.

“A person cannot change overnight through their successes or failures,” he said.

“I don't think a single result or championship can change me as a person. I haven't changed as a person in 16 years and I don't think anything needs to change in that regard,” he said.

“The focus will be on how to achieve my goals for myself and my team over the next two months. A person cannot change in a period of a month or two.” Rohit has won five IPL titles as captain of the Mumbai Indians, the Asia Cup as captain of the India (2018) and only led the team to the finals in June this year the World Test Championship.

After 16 years, do you ever reflect on your legacy in Indian cricket? “No,” came Pat's reply. “I'm not the person who thinks about what kind of legacy I'm going to leave behind. My legacy is something people can judge and talk about. It's not for me to say.” He has 30 ODI hundreds, second only to Virat Kohli's 46. Add to that 10 Test hundreds and four T20I tons. A total of more than 17,000 international runs is not a bad number.

“I don't really believe in numbers. One should be happy and enjoy the time that is ahead and try to live in such moments. I think about what makes me happy,” he added.

“For me, it's about creating memories and building a good relationship with my teammates. Be happy with whatever you get and whatever you have.”

Heartbreak in team selection

Rohit will have the unenviable task of telling at least three of the 18 members of the core group that they will not be among the exclusive 15 members of the World Cup.

A déjà vu feeling arises. When he was 23, Rohit was not allowed to compete in the history-making “Class of 2011.” It had hurt then and no one knows that better than he does.

“While we're picking the best combination, there will be players who drop out for a variety of reasons and Rahul Bhai (Dravid) and I have done our best to explain to the players why they're not in the squad.” to communicate with players after each announced selection and lineup. We're talking to them personally, one on one, why they weren't selected,” he said.

“Sometimes I try to put myself in their shoes. Not being selected in 2011 was a heartbreaking moment for me and I felt what was left after I was dropped from the World Cup squad?” He had no qualms admitting that his and Dravid's decision can sometimes go wrong. “I, the coach and the select player consider all factors such as opponents, underground, our strengths and weaknesses and then arrive at a common basis. There is a possibility that we will not always be perfect.”

“Ultimately, few people make decisions, and as humans we are bound to make mistakes. We won't always be right,” he added with a pause.

Rohit feels that he “needs to be open” and listen to everyone's opinions and the thoughts of those around him.

“It's not that I don't like this person, so I give up on them. The captaincy is not based on personal likes and dislikes. If someone misses something, there is a reason for it. If you're the unlucky one, we can do nothing.” So who was the one who put his arm around his shoulder after the announcement of the 2011 World Cup team? “I was sad, sat in my room and knew I don't know what to do next. I remember Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) calling me to his room and taking me to dinner.”

“He explained to me what it feels like to be left out. He told me, ‘The best thing is that you still have so many years ahead of you. While we're playing in the World Cup, you take the chance to work hard.' “Trust your game, your skills and your comeback. There's no way you won't play for India or not get a chance to play in the World Cup.” Skipper MS Dhoni and the national side felt an extra wrist spinner at Piyush Chawla in 2011 would be more useful than an extra batsman.

“I went back to the drawing board, worked hard and made a comeback right after the World Cup and it's been going well ever since. Since it's me who went through this emotion, no one can say that easier said than done.

“I experienced exclusion from a World Cup and I know exactly how it feels.”

Batter Rohit, the pull shots and the risks taken

If there's one shot that has become a “signature raw hit” over the years, it's the pull-shot, which he's largely played with success, although at times it also caused his downfall.

How often does he practice hauling in nets against casting experts? “There is no special training I do to play this shot. Nobody knows what work I did before that.”

“Raghu (Raghvendra), Nuwan (Senaviratne) and Daya (Garani) have all come in recent years and I've been playing this loft for a long time,” he said, referring to the three maintainers.

“I've been working on this shot since U-17 and U-19 days. Now I don't specifically practice this punch during practice. If I find a ball thrown too short, I play the move. Bowlers aren't going to do that easily.” Bowling is short, so I tell bowlers during practice to bowl anything they want.

(Except for the headline, this article was not edited by NDTV staff and is published via a syndicated feed.)

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