'Nets me Shaheen toh hai nahi...': Rohit's unfiltered remark before IND-PAK game | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'Apne paas nets me Shaheen, Naseem, Rauf toh hai nahi...': Rohit's unfiltered 'preparation' response ahead of IND vs PAK

Sep 01, 2023 08:34 PM IST

Rohit Sharma spoke about Team India's preparations ahead of the blockbuster clash against Pakistan on Saturday.

The Asia Cup 2023 is poised for a blockbuster showdown as India and Pakistan clash this Saturday in Kandy. After meeting each other in T20Is over the past two years in Asia Cup and the T20 World Cups, the meeting on Saturday would be their first since the 2019 ODI World Cup. Pakistan enter this encounter riding high on confidence after their emphatic 238-run victory over Nepal. India, meanwhile, arrived in Sri Lanka on Wednesday and will be aiming to make a strong start to the tournament.

Team India captain Rohit Sharma during a press conference for India's squad announcement for Asia Cup 2023(Shrikant Singh)
Team India captain Rohit Sharma during a press conference for India's squad announcement for Asia Cup 2023(Shrikant Singh)

The arrival of Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul came as a much-needed boost to the Indian team, although Rahul won't be available for the group stage. Nevertheless, their arrivals strengthen India's lineup, and they will heavily rely on their star-studded batting order to perform in the high-stakes clash against Pakistan.

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Also read: 'Played against him in 2019...': Ex-Pakistan bowler pin-points colossal 'setback' for India ahead of IND vs PAK game

In recent years, India have grappled with significant challenges against the Babar Azam-led side in the shortest format. Pakistan's formidable pace trio of Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf has consistently troubled India's batting order; in the previous T20 World Cup, India stumbled to 31/4 in pursuit of a 160-run target before Virat Kohli's masterclass steered them to victory. During the 2021 edition, India was restricted to a paltry 151/7, eventually succumbing to a 10-wicket loss.

As the Indian batting lineup braces itself to face Pakistan's formidable pace trio in the ODI format, Rohit Sharma was queried about their preparations during a press conference ahead of the Asia Cup clash. In his typical style, Rohit provided a rather hilarious response to the question.

“Dekhiye, net me hamaare paas Shaheen, Naseem, Rauf toh hai nahi! (Look, we don't have Shaheen, Naseem, or Rauf with us in the nets). We'll practice with the bowlers we have available. We have quite a few quality bowlers, all performing well and playing together. Yes, all three are performing brilliantly too,” Rohit said.

“Look, Pakistan has always had quality bowlers. And we've been playing for many years now, so we have some idea about how they bowl, where do they usually like to bowl and all that. We have to capitalise on our experience,” the India captain said further.

Ishan at 5?

There was no confirmation from the Indian captain on Ishan Kishan's batting position in the pre-match presser on Friday. It is expected that Ishan will assume KL Rahul's role in XI despite being played largely as an opener in the past few ODIs.

The young wicketkeeper-batter dished out solid performances in the ODI series against West Indies in July earlier this year, smashing three half-centuries in as many matches.

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