Pallekele: Ahead of their Asia Cup 2023 opener against Pakistan, India Captain Rohit Sharma played down India’s rivalry by saying that it is just another rival.
“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 said.
Pakistan recently rose to No.1 in the MRF Tyres 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,” Rohit added.
Pakistan began their Asia Cup campaign with a thumping win over Nepal in the first game in Multan. Despite an early stutter, they went on to put on a competitive score and then were clinical with the ball to start the tournament on the right note.
Leading their new ball charge was Shaheen Shah Afridi, who picked up two wickets in the opening over against Nepal and poses a huge threat to India tomorrow.
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.
Rohit 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,” he said.