In the lead-up to the highly anticipated clash between India and Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma addressed the speculation surrounding the toss’s potential impact on the game. Rohit ruled out the toss as a “massive factor” and emphasized that the team’s decision would be based on their comfort and strategy.
The question of India’s playing XI and the decision they would make if they won the toss had generated considerable interest among cricket enthusiasts. Rohit Sharma, however, downplayed the importance of the toss in the forthcoming match against arch-rivals Pakistan at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Rohit pointed out that recent matches had not seen significant dew affecting the conditions as expected, making the toss less influential in the outcome of the games. He mentioned the matches in Delhi and Chennai as examples where dew did not play a decisive role.
“Honestly, I don’t know how much of a factor it is going to be because in Delhi, we were expecting dew to come in. It didn’t come. Chennai also, it was after probably 30 overs. So, you are done with 75 per cent of the game by then,” Rohit stated during the pre-match press conference.
Rohit Sharma emphasized that the team’s decision would be based on what they were comfortable with, whether it involved batting first and setting a target or chasing down a total.
Another topic of discussion in the lead-up to the match has been India’s squad composition, particularly the choice of spinners. India had initially included Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, and Ravindra Jadeja in the playing XI for their opening match against Australia in Chennai. However, they opted for a different combination in the second game against Afghanistan in Delhi, leaving Ashwin out and including Shardul Thakur.
Rohit acknowledged that the squad’s composition might change based on the pitch conditions and the team’s strategy. He noted that the players had already been informed about potential changes, and the team would adapt as necessary.
“I don’t know; I still haven’t looked at the pitch yet, but we are ready to play whatever combination we want to play. That’s the challenge going forward for us as a team, depending on what kind of condition we want to play. If there is a change or two we need to make, we will be ready for that,” Rohit said.
Rohit Sharma assured that if the situation demanded, India would not hesitate to field three spinners, demonstrating the team’s flexibility in adapting to various scenarios.
India squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav.
Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Wasim.