With India all set to face off against Australia in their T20 World Cup Super 12 opener against Pakistan at MCG on Sunday, the rain threat on the marquee clash threatens to play spoilsport.
As per Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology forecast, there is an 80 per cent chance of rain in Melbourne on Sunday, most likely in the evening when the match will happen. In context of rain threat looming, captain Rohit Sharma feels toss does have some importance when the match is rain-hit.
“In the hindsight if you look at it, yes, it does become a little important. But again, I’ve been hearing about Melbourne weather for a while now, and it keeps changing. In the morning when I woke up, a lot of the buildings when I opened my hotel curtains were in clouds, and now we certainly see the sunshine.”
“You don’t really know what is going to happen tomorrow. The things that are in our control, we’ll try and control that, which is we’ll have a good training session today, go back, relax ourselves and get ready for tomorrow. As simple as that. We need to come here thinking that it’s a 40-over game. We will be ready for that,” said the right-handed batter in the pre-match press conference.
Though Sharma expressed that his team would be ready for a full match on Sunday, he remarked that India will be fully prepared for a truncated match scenario.
“If the situation demands that it’s a shorter game, we will be ready for that, as well. A lot of the guys have played such kinds of games before, and they know how to manage themselves in a situation like that where you are getting ready for a 40-over game and then suddenly it’s a 20-over game for both sides, 10 overs each or five overs each.
“Luckily, we played one game in India against Australia (at Nagpur in September) which was an eight-over game. I think in terms of where the guys stand, I don’t think it’s going to make much of a different, but we just certainly need to come here very well prepared and thinking that it’s going to be a 40-over game.”
With rain as a threat in Sunday’s match, it does bring a change in the narrative about the match-ups as conditions change. Sharma admitted that his choices of match-ups are a mix of both specific decisions and instinctive decision making.
“We’ve been going through a lot of numbers all these days about how people have been successful in Australia. Although it’s a different time, not a lot of cricket has been played during this month in Australia, but it was important for us to get some kind of data around what happens in October-November in Australia and what are the kind of people who have been successful here.
“We saw a lot of things about how you need to be successful firstly as a team and then as an individual, as well. We went through all of it, but like I said, it’s a bit of both. Sometimes you just feel that this guy is bowling pretty well, you need to just get him to play the game; he’s in good form.”
Insisting that he wants to be open about his playing eleven on any match day, Sharma signed off by saying he will not be shy of changing India’s eleven in their T20 World Cup campaign.
“If we have to change one or two players in every game, we’ve got to be ready for it. That’s how we have prepared all our guys, as well. The message was given long way before we came here that if we need to change one or two players for the matchups for what sort of conditions we are playing in, guys will be ready for it.
“So it’s not a last-minute thing where we are changing the players. This is the talk that has happened in the team long way back, and guys are ready for it.”