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India maintains levity in order to handle the stress of a World Cup


India will face the pressure of a World Cup semifinal when they cross the boundary at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday. It’s possible that this feeling would be amplified compared to how they’ve felt the entire campaign. India has done everything possible to lessen the strain when the team is off the field, even if it is inevitable once they take the pitch.

Rohit Sharma gave a detailed account of the team management’s efforts to establish a calm atmosphere, dating back to the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, on the eve of the semi-final matchup with New Zealand.

“We started in Australia in the last World Cup, we started there the same way,” Rohit stated. “It took us 10 or 15 days less to get to Australia. And we had spent seven or eight days in Perth setting up a little camp. We visited an island that is close to Perth. We left cricket behind. We attempt to engage in such activities whenever we get the chance. to maintain a light atmosphere among the team. It’s not as though it has only occurred in the previous two years. It also used to occur in the past. I’m not sure now, though. I’m not sure if it’s more apparent now.

This has continued into the World Cup, where players have even put on a fashion display as part of the team’s off-field activities; Rohit declined to discuss the specifics.

“Our conscious effort has been on this, that the team’s environment does not change based on the results,” he stated. “It is imperative that we establish the environment the team need. Additionally, one or two boys cannot accomplish this. It is critical that all of the guys, including the support personnel, unite.

“So, we had a five- or six-day break while we were in Dharamsala. We spent two days at Dharamsala. There, we engaged in a lot of teamwork. There, we held a fashion display, although nobody is aware of it. That nobody is aware of it is a good thing.

Thus, despite all of this work, the team environment that we frequently discuss is one in which we want to unwind. And it’s quite popular with all the boys. You know that pressure will be on you when you step onto the field—pressure to play well and pressure to win the game. That is unchangeable. Because it is then up to the individual how they wish to proceed once you reach the ground.

Prior to that, though, we have made every effort to create a comfortable work atmosphere for the crew. There is a great vibe within the crew. It’s really laid back. Thus, this is advantageous.

Personally, Rohit added that being surrounded by his family during the competition has made it easier for him to forget about cricket anytime he wants to.

“I have a family with me, so my mind goes here and there, which is a very good thing,” he stated. “We avoid cricket entirely when I get to my hotel room. We talk about a variety of different topics. It’s advantageous. Yes, you think about cricket a lot, but you should also try to avoid thinking about it when you have the time and opportunity. For what will happen even if you think all day? Thus, it’s crucial to consider alternative ideas.”

According to Rohit, one element that has contributed to the laid-back vibe in the dressing room is the security players’ appreciation of having defined responsibilities within the club and the team management’s confidence in their ability to carry those positions through lean runs.

“I just believe that as a captain, if you have decided that this is how you want to play as a team, then there needs to be a clarity among the team,” Rohit stated. “And you have to give that player your whole support if he wishes to play the way you like him to play. And we have carried it out.

We have supported specific players because we have assigned them a distinct function. And if they act the part, great, but even if they don’t—which won’t happen in every game—we still need to support that player and let him know that we’ve got his back. I really believe in it, and I want to contribute as much as I can. I also have to give Rahul [Dravid] bhai credit for accepting the idea that things shouldn’t change too much if the player doesn’t follow through on the plan.

“Well, that is something we have maintained since the beginning. And we’ll keep doing that into the future as well. However, I do think it is a really crucial point. and granting each participant the liberty to carry out their assigned duty in the game. That is yet another crucial component of the game and the way you should perform as a unit. Therefore, these are the two things: defining roles clearly and granting the guys the liberty to express themselves.”

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