‘Itna mehnat ki hai, kuch toh chahiye…’: Rohit in 1st presser since WC loss | Cricket

For the first time in 36 days, since that heartbreaking 2023 ODI World Cup final loss to Australia, Rohit Sharma addressed a press conference, at the SuperSport Park in Centurion, where the team will play their opening Test match of the two-game series against South Africa on the Boxing Day, the India captain showed “desperation” to win a “big match” or series for the country.

India’s Rohit Sharma during a practice session ahead of the first Test cricket match between India and South Africa, in Centurion, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 24(PTI)

India will be aiming to end their 31-year-long wait for a maiden Test series win in South Africa. It remains their final frontier. And the visiting side have been touted by veteran cricketers and legends to break the jinx, with South Africa missing out on some of their key players.

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Rohit did show the desire to become the first ever India Test captain to achieve the mighty feat, but remained uncertain on whether the series victory would be enough to compensate for the missed opportunity in the ODI World Cup final last month in Ahmedabad. The 36-year-old, however, left the media room bursting into laughter, probably in the manner in which he said, as he acknowledged that the team deserves to win a big series or a title after all the hard work they put in.

“I really don’t know if that World Cup loss can be compensated with a Test series win in South Africa. Because the World Cup is the World Cup. You can’t really compare the two. There is a lot of history in this series and if we manage to achieve this, then everyone will be really happy. Itna mehnat kiya kuch toh chahiye yaar…kuch bara humko chaiye (We are working so hard, we do deserve some thing…something big). And everyone is desparate for it, and it is not just the senior players. I hope we can really do well in the series. We need to relax and enjoy the game as well,” he said.

The series will mark the return of the captain himself to cricketing action for the first time since the ODI World Cup final loss, along with Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah. The troika had missed the white-ball campaign where the Suryakumar Yadav-led side was held to a 1-1 draw in the three-match T20I series while KL Rahul led a second-string side to a 2-1 ODI series win.

Rohit admitted that he is currently focused on moving on from the disappointing loss at the Narendra Modi Stadium last month and insisted that the encouragement from fans has motivated him a lot to get up and go again.

“But obviously a loss like that is hard. But there’s so much happening in life. There’s so much cricket happening. You’ve got to find that strength to move on from that. It takes time. It took time for me as well to come out from that. You’ve got to look forward and honestly, I said it as well, we got a lot of encouragement from the outside world after that final as well. And that motivated me personally to make sure I get up and start doing my job again,” Rohit added.

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