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I really want to win that World Cup, not thought of retirement: Rohit

Source: PTI
April 12, 2024 16:23 IST
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'I really want to win that World Cup'

IMAGE: We were all supposed to have one bad day and that I guess that was our bad day, Rohit Sharma about the 2023 ODI World Cup final loss. Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters

India captain Rohit Sharma says he plans to "continue for a few more years" as he "really" wants to win the 2027 ODI World Cup after the trophy slipped through his grip thanks to just "one bad day" in the mega-event's 2023 edition.

The 36-year-old Rohit was part of India's 2007 T20 World Cup victory, but he counts the 50-over showpiece as the real stuff. He was left heartbroken when that opportunity was missed following the team's final loss to Australia last year in Ahmedabad.

 

"I haven't really thought about retirement. But, I don't know where life takes you. I am playing well at the moment and I am thinking of continuing for a few more years. I really want to win that World Cup," he said in a YouTube chat show 'Breakfast With Champions' that was also attended by British pop singer Ed Sheeran.

"The 50-over World Cup is the actual World Cup. We have grown up watching the 50-over World Cup. There is the World Test Championship final happening at Lord's in 2025. Hopefully, we will make it there," added Rohit, who will be leading the side in this year's T20 World Cup in June.

Six months have passed since India succumbed in the ODI World Cup final after remaining unbeaten through the tournament, but Rohit still finds it tough to come to terms with it.

"It was happening in India. We played well until that final. When we won the semi-final, I thought, we were just one step away from it (victory). I thought, what's that one thing that can make us lose that final, and honestly, nothing came to my mind," he said.

The Mumbaikar eventually found his closure in a ready answer – one bad day on the field.

"We were all supposed to have one bad day and that I guess that was our bad day. We'd ticked all the boxes, we were playing good cricket, confidence was there. But that was one bad day and the Aussies had a very good day. I don't think we played bad cricket in that final," he noted.

However, Rohit found some solace in India's resounding 4-1 Test series win over England recently at home. The Indian captain said the series was not a cakewalk as the eventual scoreline suggested.

"You might enter the field with a plan, but when you see things moving differently, you have to change it.

"When we played recently against England, we came across a different team, they were playing cricket differently. Each batter came and challenged us. So, we had to change our mindset," he said.

Rohit also rejected suggestions that a home victory, even over a top side, is lesser when compared to an overseas triumph.

"It is difficult to win away from home. They make life difficult when you are away. It is the same for other countries as well because it is not easy when they come to India. You want to take advantage of that (home conditions)," he explained.

Rohit Sharma is among the leading run-getters in the Indian Premier League

IMAGE: Rohit Sharma is among the leading run-getters in the Indian Premier League. Photograph: BCCI

Talking about his favourite moment in Test cricket, the elegant right-hander picked his maiden hundred as the most cherished one.

Batting at No. 6, Rohit made a 301-ball 177 against the West Indies at Kolkata, which was also the farewell series of Sachin Tendulkar.

"India is all about scoring that hundred and then the crowd erupts. My first hundred was in a Test match at Kolkata. It was Sachin Tendulkar's 199th Test, so the stadium was packed, some 70000 people in the stadium. Probably it was (the best moment)," he added.

Rohit, who has not missed a season of the Indian Premier League since its inception in 2008, said now there was no weak team in the league, a remarkable shapeshifting from its early years.

"IPL has grown so much in the last decade or so and every team is now competitive. I don't think there is any weak team in the IPL. It is something like EPL first division where any team can beat any team.

"But it was not like that when it started off. Now, there is so much technology involved, people are aware what gaps are to be filled, so they get the right players from the auction etc," he offered.

Rohit also shared his memory of playing against the legendary Shane Warne in the IPL.

"I used to play against Shane when he was leading Rajasthan Royals and I was with (now-extinct) Deccan (Chargers). He had superb cricketing brains, and he though about cricket in a different angle.

"Adam Gilchrist was his teammate (in Australia), and he played for us (Chargers) and he used to tell us how good he was. Even while commentating he (Warne) used to predict what's going to happen in the next two or three balls." 

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