Tags: ICC World Cup 2023

Published on: Aug 29, 2023

Team India skipper Rohit Sharma has opened up on India’s potential World Cup 2023 squad ahead of the September 5 deadline. With BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar admitting after naming the Asia Cup squad that the team will be more or less the same for the World Cup, a couple of prominent names could end up missing out.

India are currently in a pre-tournament camp in Alur, preparing for the Asia Cup, which begins on August 30 and will be played in a hybrid model in Sri Lanka and Pakistan. After the Asia Cup, India will face Australia in three ODIs at home, which will be followed by the World Cup in India from October 5 to November 19.

While the preliminary World Cup squads have to be announced by September 5, the deadline for the final 15 is September 28. After this, any changes will need to be approved by the ICC. Rohit has opened on up how it’s a difficult job to zero in on a particular set of players.

Rohit Sharma on World Cup

"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. 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,” Rohit was quoted as saying by the ICC website.

The 36-year-old is no stranger to heartbreaks, having been left out from the Indian squad for the 2011 World Cup, a tournament the Men in Blue went on to win under MS Dhoni at home. Recalling the tough times, Rohit revealed that senior all-rounder 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. 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. 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'," the prolific opener stated.

The Indian batter went back to the drawing board and worked really hard after the 2011 World Cup snub. He stated that he has gone through the disappointment of being dropped from the mega event, so no one can tell him it’s easier said than done.

Having missed out in 2011, Rohit has been impressive in the last two ODI World Cups. He was the second-leading run-getter for India in 20145 with 330 runs in eight matches. In 2019, he was the top run-getter, smashing 648 runs in nine matches with a record five hundreds.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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