Asia Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma extends praise to Pakistan ahead of high-stakes game

Captain Rohit Sharma has his eyes set on the immediate challenges rather than the long-term goals as he prepares for Pakistan clash in Asia Cup 2023.

In a recent press conference, Sharma extended praise to Pakistan, India's arch-rival and the No. 1 ranked ODI team in the world, acknowledging the formidable challenge that lies ahead.

Rohit Sharma is well-acquainted with the pressures of international cricket, especially with the Asia Cup serving as a crucial preparatory ground for the World Cup 2023. Despite missing key player KL Rahul due to injury, Sharma expressed optimism about the depth in his squad.

He mentioned the challenge of selecting the playing XI given the abundance of talent, hoping that all players remain fit and fresh throughout the tournament.

READ: India vs Pakistan head-to-head record

Rohit Sharma acknowledges Pakistan as a formidable opponent ahead of Asia Cup 2023 clash

The Indian skipper didn't hold back in praising Pakistan's recent performances in both T20Is and ODIs. He acknowledged their hard work in reaching the top spot in ODI rankings, stating that facing them would be a good challenge for the Indian team.

India has a quality bowling lineup for practice, but Sharma pointed out the uniqueness of Pakistan's pace attack. He noted that practicing against their own bowlers is different from facing the likes of Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, or Haris Rauf.

Sharma emphasized the need to use their collective experience to counter Pakistan's bowling strength.

Rohit Sharma emphasized the importance of experience in the lineup, stating that he would allow the individual players to make decisions during the game.

“Luckily we have got experience in the line-up and I will let them play accordingly. We will let the individuals take the decisions in the middle as a lot of them have played in these kinds of conditions and situations,” he said.

Asia Cup 2023
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With the World Cup 2023 on the horizon, the Asia Cup serves as a pivotal pit stop for the Indian team. However, Sharma insists on focusing on the immediate challenges. “We try to keep our goals small and see what's in front of us. We have Pakistan to face tomorrow and we will focus on that first and then look ahead,” he concluded.

As the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee prepares to announce the World Cup squad on September 5, following India's games against Pakistan and Nepal, Rohit Sharma and his team are keen on resolving any lingering issues.

The upcoming clash against Pakistan is not just another game; it's a test of mettle, strategy, and skill, and Sharma's words reflect the gravity of the contest.

The stage is set, the players are ready, and as the two cricketing powerhouses prepare for their clash, Sharma's respectful nod to Pakistan's capabilities is a twist not a lot of us expected. 


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India