Looking ahead to the T20 World Cup this month, Team India captain Rohit Sharma spoke about the form of Suryakumar Yadav and said he hopes the middle-order batter can give his side the edge in Australia.
“Suryakumar Yadav is in good form. I hope he continues to bat in that way, high on confidence,” he told reporters on Friday. “He is a confident player. He plays fearlessly, he uses his skill set efficiently. I hope he becomes the x-factor.”
The 35-year-old said that fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has been one of the most crucial players for India in the recent past, and his presence will be missed at the World Cup, but he had to be left out of the team in order to safeguard his career.
Rohit spoke at length about how India has been trying to develop its bench strength over the past few years in order to deal with situations like this. All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja will also be missing from the squad due to injury.
“You can’t do anything about injuries. We talked to specialists to do everything we could to make him play in the World Cup. But his career is more important. He is 27-28. We can’t take risks. He has a lot of cricket left in him. “We will miss him (Bumrah),” he said. “Injuries are part of the game.” Nothing much can be done about it. If you play so many games, there will be injuries. Our focus is on improving bench strength. That’s why you saw that we gave chances to the younger players.”
World Cup between India and Pakistan
For the blockbuster opening game of the World Cup between India and Pakistan, Rohit said there will be no late changes to the already decided playing XI. “For our game (against Pakistan), we will be well prepared. Everyone knows who is going to play. I don’t believe in last-minute decisions,” he said.
His counterpart, Pakistan’s Babar Azam, also mentioned that the focus will be on trying to block out the noise in preparation for the much-anticipated opening match. “When you play India, it’s a high-intensity game. Fans also wait for it. We enjoy it on the field. We will try to play good cricket,” Babar said.
Confidence in Pakistan middle order: Babar Azam
Pakistan’s solid form coming into the World Cup has been largely aided by the opening partnerships between Babar and Mohammad Rizwan. The team does, however, tend to drop off and miss out on crucial runs in the middle overs due to a stumbling middle order. Babar thinks the middle order might just be coming into form at the right time.
“The middle order’s performances have been really good right before the World Cup,” he said. “Nawaz and Shadab have both come in good for us recently. They have chipped in well. It is definitely a good sign before such an important event.