Ahmedabad, November 18
Rohit Sharma won’t be able to tell what 10 others who will take the field with him on the biggest sporting day of their lives are feeling from inside.
But on the eve of the all-or-nothing World Cup final against Australia, ‘Captain Rohit’ wants his co-journeymen to fasten their seatbelts, keep emotions in check and do exactly what they have been doing for the past six weeks.
“See, emotionally it’s a big thing, a big occasion. Without a doubt, because whatever hard work and dreams you have, you have for this. And tomorrow, that day will be in front of us,” Rohit said ahead of possibly the biggest day of his career.
“But see, the biggest challenge for professional athletes is how you can put all this aside and focus on their work. So along with me, all the other 10 players who will play on the ground tomorrow, their focus will be more on their work for the team, rather than thinking about, this is the biggest moment of my life,” the skipper said in his effervescent but matter of fact manner.
He admitted that it is easier said than done as the sub-conscious mind plays its role.
“Of course, it is (the biggest day). There is no doubt. Back of the mind it will be there. You can’t hide from that. But it’s really important to remain calm in such situations because if you are calm and composed, then you can play your role as a team well. You can make good decisions in the pressure situation,” he said.
For 90s kids, it was all about the 50-over World Cup and Rohit is no different.
“For me, this is the biggest event—the 50-over World Cup. Since childhood, I’ve grown up watching the 50-over World Cup. So, for me, this is the biggest moment. But I know that I have to focus on what my team needs me to do. I want to put aside everything else for a while.”
‘Don’t know what they’re feeling from inside’
The skipper’s advice is always well-received but he will be the first one to tell you that he doesn’t know what kind of storm is going inside each of them.
“Inside, what they feel, I can’t tell you because I’m not spending 24 hours with them. So, I don’t know how each individual will be feeling,” that was typical Rohit reply when asked if his players are able to keep calm.
But he knew one thing—the pressure is constant.
“I said, being an Indian cricketer, you have to deal with pressure. It’s going to be constant. Today we are playing, tomorrow someone else will play, the day after someone else will play. They have to deal with these kinds of pressure, criticism, and everything,” he said.
‘Some are calm, some are tensed’
Rohit had said in Chennai before India’s first game against the Aussies that it would be nice to win a World Cup. The stakes are completely different after 41 days but he wants to keep his balance intact.
“A nice, balanced atmosphere and balanced thinking at this stage will be really nice. It’s just not from me. I can sense that from every other player as well in the changing room,” he said.
“You know there’s a laugh going around in the changing room, there’s a bit of tense faces as well. I’m not going to hide that but that’s normal. That is why this sport is so exciting because you see all different kinds of emotions,” he concluded.
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