India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, expresses a steadfast belief that the team’s moment to clinch an elusive ICC trophy is on the horizon. Despite their relentless pursuit spanning a decade, the recent defeat in the World Cup 2023 final against Australia marked ten years since India’s last ICC title, which was secured in the Champions Trophy of 2013 under the captaincy of MS Dhoni.

“It is quite draining. But that’s what you sign up for when you take the responsibility. When the opportunity came for me to lead the team, I was excited like everyone else would be. In the past 7-8 years, I’ve been part of that decision-making core group and vice-captain. When you are a vice-captain you know that you could be handed over the captaincy at any point. Plus, I also led in Virat’s absence a few times. But obviously it’s a huge honour to be captaining your country. Many stalwarts have captained the team, so to be alongside them, it’s a great honour, it’s a great privilege,” Rohit Sharma told to JioCinema. (Brothers Musheer Khan And Sarfaraz Khan Score Centuries On Same Day: Know All About Under 19 World Cup Star Of India)

“The last three years have been great. Except winning the finals of ICC trophies, we have won everything. That’s one thing we’ve not been able to accomplish, but I think time will come. All we need to do is stay in a good mindset, not worry too much about the past, because you can’t change the past. What you can change is what is going to come next, so all of us are quite focussed on that. We are playing our hearts out. There’s a culture of playing in this team that I was focussing on and am still focussing on.”

“I wanted to bring about certain change, players going out there and playing with a lot of freedom. I wanted to take the statistical side of cricket out of this team. People are not looking at numbers, people are not looking at their personal scores, just playing the game. Numbers will take care of themselves if we play well, if the mind is clean and clear and we don’t go out there only looking for a 50 or 100. Obviously, these numbers are good, and they will happen, but you take that out of your mind, just focus on the game and enjoy the atmosphere within the group, enjoy the camaraderie we’ve created in the group. For me, that’s the most important thing.”

 Won in 2012.
 Won in 2017.
 Won in 2018.
 Won in 2023.

Virat Kohli becomes the first cricketer to win ODI player of year award four times.
 Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) January 25, 2024

“Numbers are overrated. In India we do talk a lot about numbers and all of that. I got five hundreds in the 2019 World Cup, but we still lost. The hundreds don’t matter. I may think about them may be 20 years later after I retire, but what did we get? I wanted the trophy. If you don’t win trophies, I don’t think those 5-6 hundreds make too much sense. Team sport is all about winning trophies, not about individual accomplishments.”

Coming to the first Test, Yashasvi Jaiswal made England spinners dance to his tune and put India in the driver’s seat on the first day of the first Test being played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

At the end of stumps on Day 1, India were 119/1 and trailed England by 127 runs with Shubman Gill and Jaiwswal unbeaten on scores of 76* and 14* respectively. England were bundled out for 246 with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja exerting pressure on the visitors.

Jaiswal made England get a taste of their ‘Bazball’ style of play, scoring runs at a brisk pace and putting the pressure back on the visitors. He came down the ground and smashed Rehan Ahmed for a six which summed up the kind of day he had with the bat.

India got off to a flying start with Jaiswal taking on debutant spinner Tom Hartley, scoring two maximums and pushing India’s score to 19/0 after the end of the second over. While Jaiwasl continued to dominate Hartley, Rohit too joined the party and with a single brought up 50 for India off just 39 deliveries. Jaiswal brought up his half-century with a sublime shot to find the boundary.

In the same over, Hartley almost managed to bring out an outside edge from Rohit but the Indian skipper survived. After this moment of scare, Rohit (24) decided to settle the dwindling nerves by going for a maximum on Leach’s delivery. He mistimed his shot and the ball landed into the safe hands of England skipper Ben Stokes. This wicket marked Rohit’s 5th dismissal in seven innings against Leach. He has an average of just 19 against the English slow left-arm orthodox spinner.

The rest of the day saw Shubman Gill and Jaiswal exercising control, keeping the scoreboard ticking and avoiding further loss of any wicket. Earlier in the day, England decided to bat first after winning the tolls and the spin duo of Ashwin and Jadeja did not allow them much space.

Zak Crawley (20 runs from 40 balls) and Ben Duckett (35 runs from 39 balls) opened for England and put the visitors to a good start after they made a partnership of 55 runs. Crawley slammed three fours. Meanwhile, Duckett smashed seven fours. Ashwin made the first breakthrough of the game after he dismissed Duckett in the 12th over.

The second wicket came when Ravindra Jadeja removed Ollie Pope (1 run from 11 balls) in the 15th over. The third wicket came soon in the 16th over after Ashwin dismissed the English opener Crawley.

Stokes with his knock of 70 was the only standout batter for the visitors and helped his side cross the 200-run mark. However, the 32-year-old failed to stitch a game-changing partnership.

After the lunch break, England could score only 108 runs and the Indian bowling attack picked up regular wickets and kept the ‘Bazball’ exploits in check. England ended their first innings with a score of 246 with Ashwin and Jadeja scalping three each giving India firm control in the game.

Brief score: England 246 (Ben Stokes 70, Ben Duckett 35; Ravichandran Ashwin 3-68) vs India 119/1 (Yashasvi Jaiswal 76*, Rohit Sharma 24; Jack Leach 1-23).

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