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News

Rohit on the ODI World Cup: We can't think so far ahead

"We'll keep an eye on what we need to do as a team, where we need to improve, and see how it comes along for us," says India's captain

Himanshu Agrawal
03-Dec-2022
As per the ICC'S Future Tours Programme, India have six bilateral series - including the one in Bangladesh starting on Sunday - and an Asia Cup to plan for next year's World Cup.
Multiple members of the squad in Bangladesh are touring the country for the first time as India continue to expand their player base. Things are being set in motion but, the captain Rohit Sharma, insisted it was also important to focus on the present.
"Every time you play a game, it is preparation for something that is going to come in the future," he said. "But the World Cup is still eight to nine months [away] from now. We can't think so far ahead. But yeah, we'll keep an eye on what we need to do as a team, where we need to improve, and see how it comes along for us.
"I believe it's very important for us not to start thinking about so many things - the World Cup, the combination, this guy or that guy. Me and coach [Rahul Dravid] have a fair idea as to what we want to do, and we'll narrow it down once we get closer to the World Cup. But [for now] we just want to play good cricket until the World Cup."
Amidst an upcoming global tournament lies the challenge of changing formats and a clutter of cricket, which often makes it difficult to ensure the availability of best players for each series, irrespective of the opposition.
The last time India fielded a full-strength ODI side was during the England tour in July. Since then, they have played three-match series against West Indies, Zimbabwe, South Africa and New Zealand, but every time it was with a second-string team. This squad in Bangladesh, though, is a lot closer to India's first 15. It's only missing Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya and Yuzvendra Chahal, who are rested, and Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami, who are injured.
"People need to understand at times that we rest players," Rohit said, "Give them a break. It's [done] only to manage the workload keeping the bigger picture in mind. Cricket is not going to stop; there's always going to be lots of cricket. But we have to manage ourselves and our players. You want your best players to play all the time, and with higher intensity. So it's important to manage them."
"The freshness of the players is also important. A lot of the guys have been on the road since before the World Cup. We played two series at home against Australia and South Africa, and we travelled straight to the World Cup from there. Some of the guys went to New Zealand, so they've been out for virtually two-and-a-half months."
With just four days between two assignments on opposite ends of the world, only six of the players that India took to New Zealand are part of this Bangladesh tour. A seventh was added only when Umran Malik replaced Shami, with India now looking to bounce back from a 1-0 defeat where two matches were washed out.

Himanshu Agrawal is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo