'No point just talking about it' - Rohit Sharma, Babar Azam frustrated at India-Pakistan rivalry questions at T20 World Cup captains' press conference

With hype building towards the India-Pakistan T20 World Cup match on October 23, questions were surrounded around the intense rivalry.
Babar Azam Rohit Sharma

Ahead of the T20 World Cup 2022, Babar Azam and Rohit Sharma hit back at questions around the rivalry, playing it down by stating that "there's no point talking about it everytime".

"We understand the importance of the game, but there's no point just talking about it every time and creating that pressure within yourself," Rohit said mirroring Babar's views about the match.

Talking about inspiring young children to take up the sport, Rohit said: "Yeah, I think we play a big part in that. I think it's important, all of us are ambassadors in their own way. It's important for us to carry ourselves and lead by example to show the world, especially the kids, because we want our next generation to follow the sport and play the sport at the same time, as well.

It's a wonderful sport, and we all encourage our next generation to come forward and take up the sport. Eventually that's what we want. We want to make the sport as global as we can and reach out to as many countries as possible."

He, however, played down the injury concerns with Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja ruled out of the tournament, 

" Injury is part and parcel of the sport. There's nothing much can be done about it."

His approach, though, has changed over the years since featuring in the inaugural tournament in 2007. He is one of the only few players to feature in all editions of the T20 World Cup.

"I mean, it's been a long time since 2007. When I was picked for that World Cup, I literally didn't go with any expectations about myself nor the team. I just wanted to enjoy the tournament, play the tournament because that was my first ever World Cup, so I had no understanding of what is it like to be part of the World Cup and how big it is going to be until we won the World Cup.

"Yeah, and from there until now, it's been a long journey. The game has evolved so much that you can literally see how it's being played now compared to what it was in 2007. 140, 150 was a good score back then, and now people try and get that score in 14, 15 overs.

Rohit stressed on how teams have become fearless in the format in recent times, with India themselves changing their approach in the last few months significantly.

"Yeah, it's just that the teams have become more fearless. They have started to take a lot of risk without worrying about the result, which I think is a good way to play this kind of format. Yeah, it is something that our team is also trying to do because this is the kind of format where there is risk, but there's literally high rewords, as well.

"You've got to be brave enough to take those risks, and certainly we'll be prepared to do that, as well. I think that's my understanding from 2007 to '22. A lot of things have changed, obviously, but yeah, it's been a good one to see the game evolved in all these years."