WT20: Let the Indo-Pak mind games begin! Rohit Sharma targets Mohd Amir
Indian opener Rohit Sharma kicks-off the mind games ahead of World T20 blockbuster vs Pakistan by playing down hype around Pakistani pacer Mohammad Amir and asking people to focus instead on Jasprit Bumrah
Kolkata: India opener Rohit Sharma is pretty annoyed with all the 'hype' around Mohammed Amir. The Pakistan pacer, coming back from a five-year ban for spot fixing, had pushed Team India into a spot of bother with a fiery spell at the just-concluded Asia Cup in Bangladesh.
"It's not the only bowler we have to face," he shot back in response to a question at a media interaction here yesterday.
"There's just too much talk about his bowling. He's good but needs to prove it again and again. He is even being compared to Wasim Akram!"
The Indian opener suggested that instead of dwelling on the 24-year-old left-armer, there should be more talk on India's new bowling sensation Jasprit Bumrah.
Just like Malinga
"He is exceptional, and has got everything a modern seam bowler needs — the yorker, the bouncer and the slower one. Also, just as (Lasith) Malinga was difficult to pick initially, Bumrah's unusual action will surprise batsmen," he said about his two Mumbai Indians teammates. "He did well in Australia and in the Asia Cup, and he will do well in the World T20. He's a rare talent.
Time will tell how far he will go but right now he is on very good ground," Rohit added about the 22-year-old who has forged a fine new-ball partnership with 36-year-old comeback man Ashish Nehra.
Rohit, who led Mumbai Indians to the Indian Premier League title last year and is in a rich vein of form over the past few months, says he's learnt to take the burden of expectations in his stride. And criticism.
"I don't change my preparation or skill work on what people say. Something I've learnt over the years is to stay in my space and try to become the best possible player I can be. I can't be a good player if I took all that to heart," he said.
"There're a lot of expectation here and so much of passion for the game. I've no issues with that, but they need to understand that you can't win every game, can't score in every game."
Reminded about Eden, the venue for the World T20 final, he quipped: "It'll be my third final here." Two IPL trophies, and a World T20; can a Eden Gardens favourite thus renew his love affair with his happy hunting ground?