Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. Image Credits: AFP

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Rohit Sharma acknowledges India’s dismal record in ICC competitions since 2013 but believes the team hasn’t done much wrong in the most vital mega-events. The newly appointed white-ball captain said on Sunday that India has only failed to get the “extra inch” of success in the last seven multi-nation events, six of which ended in losses in finals or semi-finals.

Rohit Sharma succeeded Virat Kohli as full-time white-ball captain this week. The 33-year-old has been given the tangible task of making the team perform at its best in at least the next two World Cups(2022 T20I, 2023 ODI) in as many years. Speaking in this regard, Rohit Sharma talked about taking on the challenge as a professional.

Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Rohit Sharma Doesn’t Think India Did Anything Wrong After Last ICC Trophy Win In 2013

Virat Kohli opted to step down as the Indian team’s T20I captain after the T20 World Cup. The selectors decided not to retain him as ODI captain as well and passed on the reins of the team to Rohit Sharma in both white-ball formats.

Team India has won eight of the ten ODI games they have played under Rohit Sharma. The Mumbaikar has also won 18 of 22 matches as captain in the shortest format of the game. Mumbai Indians-the most successful franchise in the history of the IPL has won five titles in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020, all under Rohit Sharma’s leadership.

He said: “The last ICC trophy we won was in 2013. Since then we haven’t won but I don’t [think] we did anything wrong after that Champions Trophy. We played as a team, performed as a team, it’s just that we couldn’t get that extra inch that we always look forward to.

“That can happen, you know, international cricket is very demanding. But that is the challenge. We are all professionals and we need to put the right step forward and make sure that we try and count and put all those things in the right bag…”

Virat Kohli took over captaincy from MS Dhoni in all forms in 2017 | Photo Credit: AP, File Image
Virat Kohli took over the captaincy from MS Dhoni in all forms in 2017 | Photo Credit: AP, File Image

India’s last ICC title win came under MS Dhoni in the 2013 Champions Trophy. Following that, both MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli failed to take the team over the line thrice each. The latest was India’s group-stage exit from the T20 World Cup 2021, which raised doubts over the team’s pressure management on newer decibels.

Virat Kohli failed to lead the team to an ICC title win – India lost to Pakistan in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, was defeated by New Zealand in the 2019 ODI World Cup semi-final, and suffered a group-stage exit in the 2021 T20 World Cup. MS Dhoni remains the only skipper to win all 3 ICC titles-the T20I World Cup (2007), the ODI World cup (2011), and the Champions Trophy (2013).

Rohit Sharma Would Urge Teammates Not To Worry About The Finals and Just Focus On Process

Rohit Sharma, given his credentials to record five titles in the IPL and a relaxed demeanour, is being touted as the right man for just that. He also has the support of the vastly experienced yet unassuming head coach Rahul Dravid for the same. Rohit Sharma also made it clear that his leadership will be all about “following the process” first instead of the “end goal”.

“Yeah, there are a lot of World Cups coming up and India will definitely be eyeing to do well in all those World Cups for sure. Our focus, yes of course we have to win championships but there’s a process that we need to follow as a group because you know, if you want to win the championships there are a lot of other things that you need to first take care of then focus on the end goal…”

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

Rohit Sharma signed off by saying that his message to his teammates would be to “tick the small boxes” in preparation without worrying about the upshot.

“Again, from me, the message to the boys will be to not think about the finals and all of that, just focus on the process which is important, to keep ticking the small boxes that are in front of us and then we’ll look at what’s our end goal.”

Rohit Sharma’s journey towards the T20 World Cup 2022 already started with a 3-0 win over New Zealand last month. The quest for the 2023 World Cup will commence with the first ODI (January 19) of the forthcoming South Africa tour. Rohit Sharma was however ruled out of the 3 Test series in South Africa tour and is uncertain for 3 ODIs after suffering a serious injury.