Don’t need to change anything from 2022 semis, says Rohit ahead of repeat clash with England

Gorgetown (Guyana): As India gears up to play defending champion England in a repeat of the 2022 T20 World Cup semifinal here on Thursday, skipper Rohit Sharma said not a lot has changed since that match and added that they don’t need to anything different from what they did in 2022. Asked to bat first in the second semifinal of the 2022 event in Adelaide, India were restricted to 168/6 despite half-centuries by Virat Kohli (50) and Hardik Pandya (63). But England rode on brilliant batting by openers Jos Buttler (80 not out) and Alex Hales (86 not out) to hand the 2007 champions a 10-wicket thrashing. They then went on to beat Pakistan in the final to win the T20 World Cup for the second time. The two teams will again clash in the second semifinal of the 2024 edition at the Guyana National Stadium on Thursday but Rohit said they will not have to do anything different as the players already know their roles and are aware of what they have to do in a match. “I don’t think we need to change what we did in 2022 to 2024 – now obviously everyone understands what they need to do. And we back them to make those decisions on the field and rely on what they feel at that particular moment what they want to do,” Rohit Sharma said in the pre-match press conference ahead of the second semifinal. Everyone knows in the squad that they have to get the job done, but the job getting done has to be done considering various factors. And I thought throughout this tournament we have done that extremely well so. “Honestly, I mean, not a lot has changed because, see, whenever you approach an international game and this being ICC T20 World Cup, we’ve tried to play with a very free mind in the last two or three years that we’ve played our T20 cricket and even the ODI cricket as well. So not a lot has changed as such. It all depends on basically what the condition has to offer. We saw throughout this tournament; that the conditions had their own challenges. New York was completely different. And now we’ve come here in the West Indies, it’s been totally different. And we want to do that, we want to be a smart cricket team, we want to assess and play, like when we played the last game and even before that as well, the moment we realise it’s a good pitch, we want to play the way we play. And that is up to all you guys to see how we want to play,” said Rohit. He said he has tried to keep things simple for himself and his players and opined that his players are experienced enough to know what they have to do in any situation. “These guys have played a lot of cricket, and a lot of high-pressure games as well. So, there is not much that you need to discuss as such. You got to try and give them the role clarity, which I think we have done pretty well, very clearly as well. And then obviously we want to rely on them making good decisions on the field. “You don’t want to keep talking to them about – you got to do things differently and all of that. Of course, you have to have an open mind when you want to do things, but as far as the team is concerned and I’m concerned, I think our priority was to keep things very simple and give them the freedom that you all want playing this format,” he said. The India captain, who scored a vital knock of 90 in India’s previous match against Australia, said his team is not impacted by the fear of failure as claimed by some former players but admitted that some pressure and nerves are bound to be there in the players as they are playing a World Cup semifinal. “See, we want to treat this game as another game that we have played in this tournament. We don’t want to think about what lies ahead and what is the context of the game and all of that. Everyone knows in the back of their mind it’s a semi-final. But you don’t want to keep talking about it again and again and again. And not to think about what has happened in the past. I think we are, all of us, the entire group in a good frame of mind. We are playing well as a team, enjoying each other’s company, enjoying each other’s success at times as well. I think it’s important to just carry on that, carry on from what we’ve been doing in this tournament,” said Rohit Sharma. The Indian captain agreed that his team has been put under pressure in some matches but said they have adapted to the situations and managed to reach the semis. “Yes, we’ve been put under pressure in certain games during this tournament as well, but I thought we responded pretty well. And that is probably because we’re not thinking too far ahead. And again, tomorrow for us, thinking too far ahead, which is the finals, we don’t want to think about all of that. It’s a knockout game. We want to think about how well we can play and what we can do as a team for us to achieve the result that we are looking for,” said Rohit. “Sometimes if you think too much, you then will not be able to make the decisions that you want to make on the field. So, I think it’s important that we stay clear in our mind what we want to do. We have had enough conversations with the players, about what is expected out of each one of us. So, it’s time now to just rely on the individual instinct and then take the game forward,” the India captain added.

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