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World Cup 2023: Rohit Rebuts Cummins – No Advantage in Having WC-Winning Players

#INDvsAUS | #RohitSharma has refuted Pat Cummins' claims of having WC-winning players being Australia's advantage.

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World Cup
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A few hours prior to the 2023 ICC World Cup final between India and Australia, which will be played in Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium tomorrow (19 November), the two captains – Rohit Sharma and Pat Cummins – have engrossed themselves in a session of claims and counter-claims. Whilst the latter had previously said having players from the 2015 World Cup-winning team would be an added advantage for the Aussies, the former has now refuted it, saying their line of thought is not in synchronisation with that of India.

Notably, five players who featured in that Australian triumph – David Warner, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood – are all expected to take the field against India tomorrow, in their quest to win the sixth title.

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#INDvsAUS | #RohitSharma has refuted Pat Cummins' claims of having WC-winning players being Australia's advantage.
But when Rohit was asked about where he agrees with Cummins’ claim during the pre-match press conference, he opined “I can understand from which angle he's speaking, but in my opinion, there is no advantage.”

Offering further elaboration, the Indian skipper added:

It is their thinking, but our thinking is different. We are talking about eight years later (from 2015). The players' current form and current state of mind are more important. Our players have also played in a lot of finals – they might not have been World Cup finals, but they know how to handle pressure. We just have to continue the way we've been playing our cricket.
Rohit Sharma
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‘Don’t Agree with Australia Not Being Dominant’

Albeit, when he was asked if the Indian team will be beaming with confidence on facing a not-so-dominant Australian team in the final, he mentioned the five-time champions have been dominant in their last eight wins and have justifiably arrived at the final.

I don't agree with Australia not being dominant. They've won eight out of their last eight games, where they have played really well. We understand the importance of what Australia can do. They are a very complete side, so it is going to be a good contest.
Rohit Sharma
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‘We Want to Do It for Rahul Dravid’

Rahul Dravid has not had a rewarding start to his coaching career in terms of senior ICC events, with the Indian team succumbing to an unceremonious 10-wicket semi-final defeat in the T20 World Cup last year, before losing to Australia in the World Test Championship final earlier this year.

With the tides having turned now, Dravid is rightfully garnering praise. On being asked about his contribution, Rohit said:

Rahul Dravid’s role has been absolutely massive in terms of getting that clarity. How Rahul himself has played his cricket and how I am playing these days are quite contrasting. For him to agree and give me that freedom and liberty to go and play the way we want to play says a lot about him.
Rohit Sharma

“What he has done for Indian cricket is massive. He also feels that he wants to be part of this big occasion. And it is now up to us to do it (win the World Cup) for him,” he further added.

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Remembering the 2011 Snub

While two players from the current Indian squad – Virat Kohli and Ravichandran Ashwin – were a part of 2011’s triumphant team, Rohit Sharma did not make the cut.

On being asked about leading the nation twelve years after what was, in Rohit’s own words, a ‘big setback’, the 37-year-old said:

I don't want to go back there. It was a very emotional period, everyone knows about it. It was a very hard time for me. But now, I'm very happy that I'm at a stage where I'm leading India in the final. I never thought it would happen. But if you dream big, such things happen.
Rohit Sharma
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Rohit Praises ‘Team Man’ Mohammed Shami

On being asked to name one Indian player who could trouble his team earlier in the day, Australian skipper Pat Cummins acknowledged it would be a challenge for his batters to tackle Shami.

Speaking on his veteran bowling asset, Rohit said “It was tough for him to not play in the initial part of the World Cup, but he was there for the team. He was there to help (Mohammed) Siraj, he was there to help (Jasprit) Bumrah, in whatever ways he could. And that shows the quality of him, being the team man that he is.”

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