, the captain of the Indian cricket team, addressed a press conference
ahead of the T20 World Cup match against Pakistan on Sunday, October 23.
Sharma, 38, was asked questions on the Indian squad’s fitness, the role weather
can play in the match and about the potential Pakistan tour that has created a
lot of controversy. Here is what the India captain said:

1: Are India favourites against Pakistan?

Sharma said he doesn’t believe in the words – favourites and underdogs. “If you
don’t reach the ground with the right mindset on that day, you won’t be able to
perform. Whenever we come into the World Cup, there’s outside talk about
favourites and underdogs. The qualifier was the best example of how you need to
focus on execution on that very day?

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2: Is there pressure on the team for the match versus Pakistan?

The Indian
skipper said he does not want to use the word ‘pressure’ because that is a
constant. He said the Pakistan team is very challenging and all Pakistan teams
he has played with so far have been good. The 38-year-old cricketer added that
the game is just about that one day. “Pakistan were good on the day of the T20
World Cup match. They were also good at the Asia Cup, we don’t get to play them
a lot. We got gauge them. Their strengths and weaknesses.”

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3: How India’s batting matches up against Pakistan bowling?

Sharma said the Indian squad is aware that Pakistan have a good bowling attack.
He said that India have an experienced batting side and that becomes a good
thing for the match and the viewers.

4: What is Rohit Sharma’s take on India touring Pakistan?

On this the
Indian skipper was crystal clear as to his priorities: “My take is let’s focus
on this World Cup because this is important for us. Whatever happens later, the
BCCI will decide.”

5: Is this the biggest game you have played in your career so far?

Sharma said that every time he has played for India has been an important day for
him. That he is the captain this time is “icing on the cake”. “But my focus
will be on how India can do well in it.”

6: What is weather plays spoilsport?

Shorter over
games are bad for the audience. They pay to watch full 40-over games, said
Sharma. For players, full games are more competitive. The Indian skipper added
that weather is really in “God’s hands” and “we have to prepare ourselves for
whatever happens.”

Sharma in press conference

On Pak
tour: Let’s focus on the World Cup.

Are shorter
formats unfair in an World Cup?

The audience paid for 40 overs. Players are also disappointed. It’s in God’s
hands what happens with the weather. We will be prepared for whatever the
situation is, a 5-over game or a 10-over game.

This is the
biggest game in your career?

Since I’m
captain it is a big game. But I’ve always thought whenever I play for India it
is an important day for me. Be it in 2007 or 2022. To play for India, I realise
how important this is and how big and honour is this. The fact that I’m captain
is icing on the cake. But when we go out to play tomorrow, these things will
not be on my mind.

Is playing
on a used pitch going to help spinners?

This is
something that we have discussed. We will be keeping a close eye on what happens
in the first game. We will try to judge what is a good score. Eventually, you
just got to play good cricket and try to win that game. But it will help us
know what will be the right tactic for the game.