If you know one thing about cricket at the Dubai International Stadium it would be this, those who bat last bat better. Toss has played a pivotal role more often than not at the venue, be it in two editions of the IPL that were staged there, the T20 World Cup last year or the currently ongoing Asia Cup. Teams batting second have won five of the seven matches played at the venue so far, including India’s defeats to Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Which is why India captain Rohit Sharma hoped that toss would not be game changer for his team come the T20 World Cup in Australia next month.
“Hopefully, the toss will not play the factor there, and we will just bring our best in Australia,” Sharma said in a recent BCCI video where he conversates with Virat Kohli, who was India’s player of the match against Afghanistan on Thursday courtesy of his 71st international hundred.
In the video, Sharma talked to Kohli about various facets of his batting that helped him end the 1000 day plus century drought and the overall result for the team as they bowed out of the continental competition with a 101 run win.
“Kaafi special din tha humare liye…as a team humne baat kari thi pichle match ke baat ki kis attitude se field pe aate hai is match mey, wo humare liye matter karega,(It was a very special day for us…as a team we had talked after the last match that the attitude we show on field in this match will matter a lot)” Kohli said.
“Ye tournament humare liye jaroori tha. Humey knock out phases ka exposure mila, pressure mey khelna ka exposure mila. Humara goal hum sabko pata hai ki kya hai, wo hai Australia mey jo world cup hai (This tournament was important for us. We got the exposure of knockout matches. We got the exposure of playing under pressure. We know our goal, which is the World Cup in Australia) We will learn from our mistakes and defeats.”
He further asked the former India captain on the team’s plans should be going forward from their experience at the Asia Cup.
“Nothing different,” Kohli responded.
“For us it is about being in the right frame of mind, and continue being in that space. That is the most important thing. We are creating an environment in the change room is very special and very sacred to all of us. We know ho good we feel as a team in the change room, and for us the next two series against Australia and South Africa is chance to establish those good habits, and be very consistent as a team, under pressure situation make good decisions.”
The 33-year-old further added, “And then go into the World Cup knowing that we can do it against all these bowlers event though the conditions are different, might be a little tougher but we are going there earlier. I see the next couple of months as a great phase, where we play quality teams, we have our preparation time, then I have no doubt that we’ll be absolutely ready before the first game of the World Cup.”