ICC World Cup 2023: ‘Past is past’, says Rohit Sharma on last WC when India lost in semifinal against New Zealand

The focus should be on what could be done today, rather than focussing on the past, Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma said on November 14, on being asked about the last World Cup, when India had lost in the semifinals against New Zealand.

The in-form Men in Blue have the opportunity to avenge that loss against the Kiwis, as the two teams would be squaring off again in a semifinal clash tomorrow (November 15). The match will be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. 

While addressing the press on the eve of the high-stake semifinal, Sharma was asked whether the team thinks about what happened in the 2019 World Cup. “In the back of your mind, you know what has happened in the past but what has happened in the past is the past,” he replied.

Also Read: India was knocked out in last two World Cup semi-finals. Here’s why story might change this year

“What you can do today and tomorrow is what we usually talk about. I don’t think there is much debate or talk about what happened 10 years ago or the last World Cup,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying. 

Sharma further noted that the team’s current World Cup campaign cannot be compared to 1983 – when India won its maiden title – as well as 2011 when it lasted lifted the trophy under the then captain MS Dhoni’s leadership.

“Half of the guys were not even born when we won our first World Cup (1983) and then when we won our second World Cup (2011), half of the guys were not even playing the game. For us, the current crop of players are very much into what can happen today. I don’t see them talking about how we won the last World Cup or the first. The focus is on how they can get better and what are the things they need to improve. The focus is always on the present,” he said.

Incidentally, the 2019 semifinal loss against New Zealand was the final international match of Dhoni. The thrilling game, played in England’s Old Trafford, was won by 18 runs by the Kiwis. They had batted first and set a target of 240 runs for India. After losing six wickets within 100 runs, Dhoni and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja led a valiant fightback. However, the team was bowled on 221.

India are considered to be the favourite moving into the semifinal clash in this World Cup, as the team is undefeated in the tournament so far. The Rohit Sharma-led side has won nine out of the nine league-stage matches, finishing at the top of the points table.

New Zealand, led by Kane Williamson, finished at the fourth on the points table with wins in five out of their nine games. During their league-stage match against India in Dharamshala on October 22, the Black Caps were defeated by four wickets. The Indian side had comfortably chased the target of 276 runs in 48 overs.

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Updated: 14 Nov 2023, 08:01 PM IST

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