There are many heroes who have emerged during the ongoing ICC World Cup where India faces its most difficult task when it takes on Australia at the Motera Ground in Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday. The pressure would be on Rohit Sharma’s team with billions of cricket lovers expecting the men in blue, for the one final time, to rise to the occasion.
While the spotlight has been mostly on King Kohli, who with his extraordinary batting has now got past his idol Sachin Tendulkar’s record of the maximum number of centuries in One Day Internationals, the role of Rohit Sharma and others, particularly Mohammed Shami cannot be ignored.
In fact, Rohit has led from the front, and if India has achieved a ten out of ten victory record so far, the credit belongs to him for giving a new direction to his team. The skipper has set an example by his attacking play, which serves to provide those who follow him, a perfect platform to accumulate high scores.
He has been completely selfless in his approach and his calm exterior shows how he would always be remembered as one of the finest captains India has had. He does not panic in tense moments and has shock absorbers to soak in all the pressure, even during the most trying moments in a match.
Rohit is made of a different mettle and his leadership has resulted in creating a positive atmosphere in the changing room where all the players are charged up to deliver their best for the sake of the country. Many international cricketers have acknowledged that Rohit’s approach to the game has transformed the team and he has never let down those in whom he always reposed immense faith.
Apart from leading the side with the deft handling of his men, he has also scored runs which have come at a pace which has proved to be punishing for the rivals while simultaneously demoralizing the best sides.
Therefore, along with coach Rahul Dravid, who in his playing days was referred to as “the Wall” and someone who always remained cool during the most difficult moments, Rohit has helped in creating a team culture, which if it is carried forward, would help in making India proud.
The expectations are very high and the entire country should keep on mind that Rohit Sharma’s team is certainly the best in this World Cup, regardless of the result on Sunday. Therefore, there is no point in putting that extra pressure on the boys, who have excelled beyond their potential and shall not allow their opponents to dominate them in any department.
This team’s strength also lies in the fact that its fielding has been exceptional and at par with the best seen in this game so far. This is the reason why it is not easy for any side to take India for granted, as each member is prepared to go beyond the call of duty to deliver.
It’s not a coincidence that Virat Kohli is the highest run getter in this tournament and Mohammed Shami the highest wicket taker. Rohit also has more than 550 runs under his belt and Shreyas Iyer, Shubhman Gill and K.L. Rahul, have shown their mettle at some stage or the other.
Yes, the World Cup final is the biggest stage and apart from the skill and performance, a little bit of luck is also needed. It is an old saying that fortune favours the brave and there is no reason why the bowling attack led by Jasprit Bumrah, the most feared bowler in the world, would not get the better of the Australians. Shami, Siraj, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav have all had a good tournament and even the worst critics of India admit that the bowlers are the “X” factor of the team which can overcome any challenges.
Virat Kohli has had a dream run so far and to achieve his record in the presence of Sachin Tendulkar, and all the doyens of Indian cricket, was a remarkable and unforgettable feat. The way he is playing, he could end up surpassing many landmarks in his illustrious career. He turned 35 a fortnight ago and his fitness and dedication for the game is an example for all future players. Kohli has introduced the fitness culture in the Indian side and this mantra must continue for all times.
There shall always be comparisons that shall be made between Rohit’s team and the ones led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kapil Dev in 2011 and 1983 respectively. This team appears to be the most balanced, and the one expected to win the World Cup, if one goes by the form and performances of individual players.
But cricket is always a game of uncertainties and can produce the most unpredictable outcomes. Team India has to ensure that it gives in its best, and there is no reason, why they would not achieve the desired results.
Australia has always been a very difficult side to beat but its past reputation should not overawe our boys, who are going through a dream run.
Glen Maxwell’s innings of 201 against Afghanistan would remain etched in the memories of cricket lovers for a long time. Those who saw Maxwell bat on that day were completely mesmerized with his skill and determination. It reminded many veterans of Kapil Dev’s knock of 175 in 1983 against Zimbabwe.
However, Rohit’s team is a side to watch on Sunday. Between us.