Rohit Sharma Opens Up About the Competition for Places in India’s Potential World Cup 2023 Squad
Preparation for the World Cup
India are currently in a pre-tournament camp near Bangalore where the members of the Asia Cup squad are preparing for the tournament starting on 30 August.
During the squad announcement press conference, Chairman of Senior Men’s Selection Committee Ajit Agarkar suggested that the World Cup squad will largely remain the same as that of the Asia Cup.
For the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, teams have until 5 September to submit the preliminary squads and 28 September for the final list, post which any changes will need approval from the ICC.
The Challenge for Rohit Sharma
With the announcement nearing, captain Rohit Sharma will have the difficult job of dealing with players who won’t make the cut.
“While picking the best combination, there will be guys who will miss out for various reasons and Rahul bhai [Dravid] and I have tried our best to explain to the players why they are not in the squad,” Rohit Sharma said speaking to PTI.
“We have tried to communicate with the players after every selection and playing XI that has been announced. We talk to them face-to-face, one-on-one why they have not been picked.”
Perhaps nobody understands better than Rohit the heartbreak of missing out on a home World Cup – he did not make the cut in 2011 and had to watch India lift the trophy from the outside.
The 36-year-old opened up about his emotions at the time and remembered how Yuvraj Singh’s guidance aided him in overcoming the disappointment.
“Sometimes I try to put myself in their shoes. When I wasn’t picked in 2011, it was such a heart-breaking moment for me and I felt what’s left after being dropped from a World Cup squad,” Rohit said. “If anyone misses out, there is a reason for it. If you are the unlucky one, we can do nothing.”
“I was sad and sitting in my room, and didn’t know what to do next. I remember Yuvi [Yuvraj Singh] calling me to his room and taking me out for dinner. He explained to me how it feels when you are left out.”
A Comeback Story
“He told me, ‘The best thing is that you have so many years in front of you. As we play in the World Cup, you take this chance to work hard on your game, skills and make a comeback. There is no way that you won’t play for India or not get a chance to play in the World Cup.'”
“I went back to the drawing board, worked hard and immediately after the World Cup, I made a comeback, and it has been good since then. Since this is me, who has gone through this emotion, no one can tell me that it’s easier said than done. I have faced exclusion from a World Cup squad, and I know how it exactly feels.”
Impressive World Cup Performances
Following that setback, Rohit Sharma’s fortunes took a positive turn, and he has since been a standout performer for India in World Cups. In 2015, he was the second-highest run-getter for India with 330 runs in eight matches.
He bettered his efforts in 2019 and finished as the highest run-getter of the tournament with 648 runs in nine matches which included five centuries.
Rohit is keen on replicating those performances as captain and helping India go one step further after two semi-final exits in the last two editions.
“I want to shut out everything. I want to get into the phase I was in before the 2019 World Cup,” Rohit noted. “I was in a great frame of mind and prepared really well for the tournament.
“I was in good shape, good mindset. I want to bring that back and I have time to do that. Trying to recollect what were the right things that I was doing before the 2019 World Cup as a cricketer and as a person. I want to revisit that thought process of mine.”