'These are top six Asian teams, by no means is the Asia Cup some fitness test' - Rohit Sharma ahead of Pakistan clash

The 36-year-old emphasized that the Asia Cup is not a platform for experimentation. Instead, he stressed the team's focus on better planning and securing victory.

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Rohit Sharma Interview.
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Rohit Sharma Interview. (Photo Source: Star Sports/YT)

Indian captain Rohit Sharma expressed his determination to win the Asia Cup 2023 and said that the tournament is not a fitness test for the players but the team has come to Sri Lanka to win the trophy.

Rohit expressed his happiness on having a problem choosing the best playing 11 out of the available 18-member squad and said that it shows the kind of bench strength that India possesses right now.

"All sorts of combinations available looking at how the game was played yesterday. We have got experience in our batting lineup. Batters have to play accordingly. We will try to take the game on, but it is important to read the situation well," Rohit said in a press conference before the big match against Pakistan.

As per Rohit, all the bowlers are great as they have proven in world cricket how good they are. He lauded the impressive performance of Jasprit Bumrah, both in terms of fitness and bowling prowess,

"Speaking of [Mohammed] Shami, [Mohammed] Siraj and [Jasprit] Bumrah... especially Bumrah who is coming back from an injury after a long time, he played in Ireland, he looked good there. And then the small camp we had in Bengaluru, he looked good [there] as well," Rohit added.

The 36-year-old emphasized that the Asia Cup is not a platform for experimentation. Instead, he stressed the team's focus on better planning and securing victory. 

"By no means, this is a fitness test or any other thing. This is a tournament played between the top 6 Asian teams. It's a very big tournament for all of us, without a doubt, we learn from every mistake and loss. We have given opportunities to many players in the last year. We will use this Asia Cup to play good cricket. We are going to focus on winning," he said while reflecting on past defeats in ICC tournaments.

The Indian skipper also gave a vital message to his batting lineup, urging them to combine aggression with a fine understanding of match situations instead of being ultra-aggressive throughout the game.

Also see: Most Runs in Asia Cup 2023

"We have to apply ourselves in this format and this tournament. Yes, you have to be aggressive, but at the same time, you have to apply and give the time to settle in the crease and play according to the situation," he added.

As India and Pakistan have not played in the finals of the Asia Cup for the last nine years, Rohit hopes that this year, fans might see these two biggest Asian giants competing in the finals. On adapting to the challenges of ODI cricket, he said that it's quite different from T20Is and players will have to adapt to the format as quickly as possible.

The much-anticipated clash between India and Pakistan is scheduled to take place in Kandy on September 2. 

Also see: Live Weather Updates for Pakistan vs India, 3rd Match in Asia Cup 2023

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