India and Sri Lanka will lock horns in the opening game of Nidahas Tri-series 2018 on Tuesday.
The men in blue are taking part without their key players like Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The team will play under Rohit Sharma and he is confident of leading the young side to a win.
Rohit said the omission of big names will give new players a chance to showcase their talent and will help to strengthen India's benched side.
The stand-in Indian skipper stated that it was necessary to give players a break who performed consistently well in domestic cricket.
“It is always important to know your bench strength. Players have been consistently performing on ‘A’ tours, Ranji Trophy, domestic tournaments, age-group games. It is the right time to blood them in. We want to see how they play here and not rush them directly in the ICC tournaments.”
India are considered as a strong side and Sri Lankan coach Chandika Hathurusinghe has already labeled them as favorite. However, Rohit thinks T20 format brings uncertainty.
“T20s are such a format where the game can change in a span of one over. It is like the English Premier League, where any team can achieve victory on a given day,” Rohit said.
The 30-year-old said that he was just 10 when India last played the Nidahas Trophy in 1998. India had then won the tri-series as they left Sri Lanka and New Zealand behind in the tri-series encounter.
India won the title by six runs and the match witnessed Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly sharing a then world record opening stand of 252. Rohit recounted the fond memories.
“I was only 10 years old when this tournament took place. It gives me immense happiness to lead the team during Sri Lanka’s 70th Independence Day,” Rohit beamed.
Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal stated the team is playing this tournament keeping World Cup 2019 in mind. “Every time you can’t say that this is our transition period, so we are looking at the 2019 World Cup, we are thinking about that, we are doing all the hard work as a unit too,” Chandimal said.
Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah Riyad was presented with a tricky question when asked about former coach Chandika Hathurusinghe who is now part of the Sri Lankan set-up. Mahmudullah responded, “I have great respect for Chandika Hathurusingha. It depends on how the players take it. Life moves on.”