Indian captain Rohit Sharma admitted the searing heat in the United Arab Emirates will be challenging for the players but urged to focus on the game and forget about the conditions.
India will face Hong Kong in their first Group A match in Dubai on Tuesday before their big clash against arch-rivals Pakistan, also in Dubai on Wednesday.
Rohit said for the seven guys coming from England the conditions will initially be tough.
“I think for us as a team, obviously lot of guys have come from England, so it is going to be a challenge for them. For the rest of us we have been here for the last four days so I can probably say we are very much used to of the conditions but without a doubt, the conditions will be tough out there,” Rohit Sharma said.
The Indian captain stated that the team wants to improve as a team and focus on the upcoming world cup.
“But see I said before we are treating every team as equal and not looking at the opposition. We are looking at what we can do as a team and improve as a team, there are a lot of games that coming up for us including the big World Cup so it is important to focus as a team what we want to do as individuals,” he added.
He further stated that heat is a concern, but they have to focus on cricket rather than on conditions.
“It is important and if you do that all the worries and issues will take care of itself. For us it is important that we focus as a team, yes the conditions are not going to easy we know that its game time so we have to focus on the game rather than the conditions.”
Rohit hoped his batsmen — minus Virat Kohli who is rested for the tournament — will grab the chance.
“Look, Ambati Rayudu and Kedhar Jadhav have been an important part of the team. Both have returned and its good for the team because they are in good form, so its important for me as captain to give chance to players who are in form so I hope they do well in the coming games and do well for us.”
Rohit said he was a bit nervous to lead the side.
“I have captained the team before in a series, so its a big responsibility for me. This is a big tournament for me, I am excited but a bit nervous as well. I have played with these players before so I understand them and look forward to it.”
Rohit Sharma revealed that Pakistan’s game is not under their focus at the moment and will shift their attention to the big contest only after their opening match against Hong Kong.
“Right now we are not focusing on Pakistan, focusing on Hong Kong so have to focus on that. Once we finish the first game we will look at Pakistan, what their strength and weaknesses are. We have not played here, a few played in the IPL in 2014.
The Indian team will play at the UAE after a long time, though some of the players in the squad have played an edition of Indian Premier League.
“It has been a long time we have played at this particular venue, so tomorrow is a perfect chance for us to assess the conditions, the pitch, the dimension of the ground and take that into your game. from whatever I saw from the last two games, the wicket doesn’t look that bad, because of the conditions it goes slower and slower, we have to adapt to that and as per the conditions play our eleven.
“Looking at the pitch I think we have the perfect combination, we have the guys to do the job so we are looking forward.”
Talking about young left-arm pacer Mohammad Khalil, he termed his selection as exciting.
“We saw him play in Sri Lanka when we are playing in SL, we have right-handers (bowlers) so we wanted to bring that change, so looking at the future we will be playing in Australia and they have so many left armers, it was nice to bring him and its a great addition to the team and guys will benefit from him.”
India will play all their matches in Dubai, something which gives them an advantage, feels Rohit.
“I think its an advantage and of course in this tournament you don’t have many chances of making mistakes. One mistake can cost you the entire series and of cousre, I do undertand that playing at the same venue is an advantage.
“But every opposition and that’s the beauty of this event, is different, the pitches will change and opposition will change so you have to make different strategies. You cant go with the same mindset, dynamics, you need different strategies against Hong and then change against Pakistan.”