In the lead-up to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup final clash against five-time champions Australia, Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma expressed the team's determination to secure victory for head coach Rahul Dravid. The much-anticipated final is scheduled to take place at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday, November 19.
During a pre-match press conference, Rohit Sharma highlighted Dravid's significant role in providing clarity to the players, emphasizing the coach's impact on the team's current 10-match winning streak in the 2023 World Cup. India, a two-time World Cup champion, aims to secure its third title in the tournament's history.
"His role has been absolutely massive, getting that clarity, which I keep talking about. For him to give us that liberty to go and play the way we want to play says a lot about him," Rohit remarked on Dravid's influence on the team's approach.
Sharma acknowledged the contrasting playing styles between himself and Dravid, praising the coach for allowing players the freedom to express themselves on the field. The Indian captain expressed the team's collective desire to win the World Cup for Dravid, who was part of the Indian squad that faced a defeat against Australia in the 2003 World Cup final.
“The way he stood by the players in difficult times, especially during the T20 World Cup, where we had a good run up until that semifinal, where we lost... He wants to be part of this big occasion, and it's for us to do it for him,” added Rohit Sharma.
India's journey to the final saw them dominate the league stage, winning all nine matches, followed by a convincing 70-run victory over New Zealand in the semi-final at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. Meanwhile, Australia finished third in the group stage, rebounding from losses to India and South Africa with a seven-match winning streak before securing a three-wicket victory against South Africa in the second semi-final at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
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