World Cup 2023: Rhythm key in India’s big-ticket clash against Pakistan in Ahmedabad

Shubman Gill, who is on the path to full recovery from dengue, batted for more than 45 minutes during nets at Narendra Modi Stadium

Ahmedabad October 14 dmanewsdesk: The Indian team management is undecided on playing Shubman Gill even as Rohit Sharma maintained that the opener is “99 per cent available” for the big-ticket clash against Pakistan.

“He is 99 per cent available. We’ll see tomorrow,” Rohit said at the news conference on Friday.

Gill, who is on the path to full recovery from dengue, batted for more than 45 minutes during nets at the Narendra Modi Stadium. He even engaged in a game of football with the rest of the players during the warm-up session.

However, the jury is out on whether India will disturb their winning combination from the first two matches. It was learnt that the team management is in favour of allowing Gill to rest for at least one more match keeping in mind the fatigue factor. That will put him in the right frame ahead of tougher battles.

Gill has a good record in Ahmedabad — one century in four innings in Tests besides a 126 not out against New Zealand in the lone T20I. He hasn’t played any ODIs at this venue.

If Gill is included in the playing XI, Ishan Kishan will have to sit out.

The think-tank is expected to stick to their formula of two spinners and three pacers. This implies Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami will have to miss out while Shardul Thakur gets another match.

Rohit stressed the importance of maintaining a winning momentum.

“Rhythm is very important. If you look at it in other terms, it is called momentum. We have played seven or eight matches in India and before that in Sri Lanka and have already played two matches in the World Cup,” Rohit said.

“The bowlers have shown very good performances. Whether it is spinners or seamers, whenever they have got a chance to put pressure on the batsmen, they have done so. There were a few matches where we were put under pressure. Like Australia made 350 runs in Rajkot, we were put under pressure.

“So, there are matches where you learn a lot of things. Our bowlers also learnt a lot from that game… We talk about those things. How to improve…

“In batting, I will say that all the batsmen have scored runs. From the top to No.8, all the batsmen have made runs. All in all, I think it’s all about the rhythm. All the players are in a good rhythm. And it is always nice to go into any World Cup game with that kind of rhythm and that confidence.”

Rohit has always insisted on not losing focus by “shutting out the noise” and said he has been off social media for nine months now.

“I’m not on social media for the past nine months now. So, everyone has their own way of dealing with it. Some people like it, some don’t. But that’s not my place to tell anyone how to do it. They have to work out their own way of dealing with these things,” Rohit said.

“Like I said many times before, in the context of it, yes, it’s a massive game. But for us, what is important is, we are playing an opponent tomorrow… So, we’ve just got to come against a quality opposition and play good cricket. And hopefully, we can again show some consistency in our performance.”

Source: The Telegraph online