Kuldeep Yadav (Photo Source: FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP via Getty Images)
Ahead of the highly-anticipated ODI World Cup semifinal clash against New Zealand, India captain Rohit Sharma spoke about the impact Kuldeep Yadav can bring to the table. The high-octane clash will be contested at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, on Wednesday, November 15.
Rohit was asked about Kuldeep’s performance in the group-stage clash against the Kiwis at Dharamsala, where the latter gave away more runs and then provided significant breakthroughs for the side. To which, the captain replied that the veteran spinner never fails to impress with his bowling and he is the one who is not afraid to get hit.
“Kuldeep missed out on a few games in between but since he’s made a comeback, you see a different sort of Kuldeep in terms of his attitude. He wants to front the situation front, the challenge, take the responsibility upon him. He is not afraid to get hit. Because you know, like you mentioned about that particular game (against New Zealand), it was a perfect example where the batters were trying to put him under pressure but he eventually got those couple of wickets for us,” the Indian skipper said at the pre-match conference.
“With him, he’s like it doesn’t matter (to him) if he goes for runs, but he knows that he has to go out there and get the team into good situations, try for breakthroughs if there’s a partnership. That’s the beauty of spin bowling,” Sharma continued.
“If you are afraid (from getting hit), things don’t fall in place. In terms of the strategy as well, you don’t mind getting hit (as a spinner). But the will to come back and finish off really strong is what matters and that is what he did in Dharamsala. We always say the game is not over till the last ball, so even though you get hit for a few boundaries, a few sixes here and there in a few hours, there are 10 hours, 60 balls that you have to bowl and you have to come back and that is the attitude that Kuldeep has,” the Indian skipper further added.
I’m not saying the role clarity was not there in 2019: Rohit Sharma
Furthermore, when Rohit Sharma was asked about this mantra for the team’s success in the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023 and the flourishing environment in the team, the India captain emphasized the clarity of the roles players are assigned. Moreover, he also credits Rahul Dravid the head coach for not chopping and changing the team combination too much. He supports the backing of the players and encourages them to perform their roles while on the field as two prime principles of his leadership in the dressing room.
Hence, the 36-year-old is amply clear about the role given to the current players in the squad. Besides, Rohit Sharma also stated that he was not part of the discussion for role clarity during the previous editions as he was not the captain then.
“See, I was not part of the 2011 World Cup, which we won. I was part of 2015 and 2019. Very hard to say which team was better and which team wasn’t. I’m not going to say the 2019 was better than 2023 or 2015. What all I can say (about the 2023 team) is the roles are pretty clear for each and every one of them and they exactly know what to go out there and do, and it makes a little easier for the players as well to understand what is expected out of them . I’m not saying the role clarity was not there in 2019. But I was not a part (of those discussions),” The Mumbai-based opener elaborated on his thoughts.
“I was not the captain. When you assign a role, there’s mainly captain and coach (who) decide. What they want from any players. So, I was not part of that. Obviously, I am now. I think in terms of rating the teams, I don’t think it will be the right thing for me to do that or say this is a dominant team. I think all the teams I was part of, they were quite dominant,” Sharma concluded.
Also Check: ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 Teams & Squads
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