World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma stresses on playing well against Australia

Updated: Jun 09, 2019, 07:04 IST | Harit N Joshi | London

Rohit Sharma leaves recent results against Australia aside and stresses on playing well on the day while Finch is in no mood to discount ODI series win on Indian soil

India's Rohit Sharma looks on during a training session at The Oval in London on Saturday. Pic/AFP
India's Rohit Sharma looks on during a training session at The Oval in London on Saturday. Pic/AFP

Harit N JoshiTwo-time winners India take on five-time champions Australia today at The Oval to play out one of the 2019 World Cup's most anticipated matches. Their rivalry is renowned and competition intense. If India demolished them in their own backyard earlier this year, winning the series 2-1, a determined Australian unit hit back by stunning the hosts 3-2 in India.

It was the last international series India played before coming into the World Cup. While Australia skipper Aaron Finch believed it will have a bearing on this game, India vice-captain Rohit Sharma felt otherwise.

'Series win v Oz, a big boost'

Finch said the series win in India was a huge boost to their self-belief. "They've got some all-time great players, no doubt about that. So, to be able to beat them in their home conditions three times in a row was really important for the confidence of the side, especially going into a game like this," he said on Saturday.

Rohit felt it is important to focus on playing well on the day. "We've had success against each other. We had success in Australia, they had success in India recently, but again, tomorrow's game will all depend on how we play on that particular day. I guess it's the same for them too because we have seen how one or two individuals can take the game away from you.

Forget the past: Rohit

"What we have done in the past is past. We have to be good on that particular day, which is tomorrow, and we will try and focus on that, because I totally believe that because it's World Cup and the format is such. You play different opposition every time, and it's not a bilateral series, so you have to focus on that particular day and that particular team on that day," said Rohit.

It is not just the familiarity factor that makes this clash exciting. The Aussies have former captain Ricky Ponting assisting the team for the World Cup after spending two months in the Indian Premier League with Delhi Capitals.

Australia have former India all-rounder Sridharan Sriram as their spin consultant and have hired the services of a Mumbai leggie Pardeep Sahu in their support staff ranks since September when they were preparing for a series against Pakistan in the UAE.

Team India have certainly done their preparation, but one quality that Rohit would like to learn from the Aussies is their never-say-die attitude. "They never give up which is their main quality. It is something which we would also like to learn from. In the other match [v West Indies], after being reduced to 79-5, Nathan Coulter-Nile hit 92 runs. That is something we as a team would like to learn from," said Rohit.

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