ICC World Cup final: Keep calm and focus on the job, Rohit tells his boys

The Indian cricket captain says having clarity of roles has helped in their journey so far

Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma
Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma

Gautam Bhattacharyya

Keep calm. These two words are a simple message from Indian skipper Rohit Sharma to his boys ahead of their high stakes World Cup final against Australia on Sunday.

It had been an exemplary outing so far for India as well as their inspirational captain on the personal front, with the ‘Hitman’ executing his role of giving those flowing starts in the powerplay to perfection – amassing 550 runs to be the fifth highest run-getter in the tournament. Only Virat Kohli, with 711 runs, has scored more runs than him to be leading the charts.

‘’At an emotional level, it’s quite a big thing to be playing the final as the day is now here. However, as professional athletes, we have to keep it aside and focus on the job at hand rather than thinking about the occasion,’’ Rohit said at a choc-a-bloc media conference ahead of the team’s optional practice session.

Making the final at the end of two years since the Rahul Dravid-Rohit Sharma regime took over after a league stage exit in the 2021 T20 World Cup, it completes a cycle – where the trophy tomorrow can be like a icing on the cake.

Asked to elaborate, Rohit said: ‘’Whatever preparation we did for this day started two years ago since I became the captain. We had T20 World Cup, the World Test Championship and now this. We had to prepare, identify players as to who could be the right ones for which format. We followed this process overs two-and-a-half-years. I think till now, the role clarity has played an important role in reaching this far.’’

What was been the role of Dravid, who has chosen to take a backseat and let his boys soak in the limelight? ‘’His role has been absolutely massive in terms of getting that clarity. Clearly, looking at how Rahul himself has played his cricket and how I am playing these days, obviously it’s quite contrasting. For him to agree and give me that freedom and liberty to go and play the way we want to play, that says a lot about him."

‘’The way he stood by the players during difficult times when during the T20 World Cup, we had a good run up until that semi-final. Obviously, what he has done for Indian cricket is massive and he also feels that he wants to be part of this big occasion. It’s for us to do it for him now,’’ he added.

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