Don't know whether a Test series win in South Africa can be a balm for a World Cup final defeat: Rohit Sharma

Tags: India tour of South Africa 2023-24, India, South Africa, Rohit Gurunath Sharma

Published on: Dec 26, 2023

Team India captain Rohit Sharma has admitted that the visitors are keen to create history in the Rainbow Nation during the Test series, which begins with the Boxing Day Test at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Tuesday, December 26. However, he refused to believe that a Test series win in South Africa can compensate for the defeat in the 2023 ODI World Cup final.

India have a pretty ordinary Test record in South Africa. While they are yet to win a Test series in the country, they have competed well during their recent visits to the Proteas nation. In fact, during their previous tour in 2021-22, they won the opening Test in Centurion, only to go down in the next two matches and lose the series.

Speaking on the eve of the opening Test in Centurion on Monday, Rohit shared his thoughts on the South African challenge and commented, “These are very important matches in terms of where we stand as a team. Also to look back that we have never won a series here as well, it's a big opportunity for us to do well here. We came pretty close the last two times when we toured here but again we have come to this place with lot of confidence to try and achieve what nobody (Indian) team has ever achieved in this part of the world.”

Asked if a Test series win in South Africa will ease the pain of the World Cup final defeat, the Indian skipper candidly admitted, "I don't know whether a Test series win in South Africa can be a balm for a World Cup final defeat. I mean World Cup is World Cup. Itni mehnaat ki haai, kuch toh result milein. (We have been working so hard, it's time we get some big result). We all want that.”

India will be without the services of World Cup hero Mohammed Shami, who was one of the big heroes of the 2021 Centurion win. The pacer is out of action due to a heel injury. Rohit admitted that Shami’s presence will be missed, but backed Prasidh Krishna and Mukesh Kumar to make up for his absence.

"What he has done for our team over the years, obviously it's a big miss but someone will come in place of him, try and fill in that role and it will not be easy but we have confidence,” the 36-year-old said.

"Prasidh extracts a lot of bounce due to his height and Mukesh can swing the ball. We were suppose to have a look at pitch today and decide whether we want someone to bowl up or back. We have 75 percent decided and rest 25 percent we would tomorrow,” he added.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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