"Rohit's presence is going to be...": Yuvi backs 'Hitman' to end India's title drought at ICC events in T20 WC

"Rohit's presence is going to be...": Yuvi backs 'Hitman' to end India's title drought at ICC events in T20 WC
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New Delhi, India: Former star India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, the ambassador of the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024, came out in support of skipper Rohit Sharma, backing him to lead his charges to the title in the US and the West Indies.

Yuvraj, who shared the Indian dressing room with the current captain, watching him rise from a precociously talented youngster to one of the leading lights of Indian cricket and a modern-day batting great, said Rohit's leadership skills and ability to stay calm under pressure will be the key to India's chances of ending their prolonged drought in ICC events.

"Rohit's presence is going to be very crucial. I think we need a really good captain, a sensible captain who takes decisions well under pressure. And he's the one to take them. He was the captain when we lost in the (Cricket World Cup) 50-over final (in 2023). He has won five IPL trophies as a captain. I think we need somebody like him to captain India," Yuvraj was quoted as saying in a release by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

India's trophy drought at ICC events stretches back to the 2011 ODI World Cup, which saw the team lift the world title at home under the inspiring leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

It has been a case of so near yet so far for India over the last few years in ICC events, with last year's ODI World Cup bearing the latest illustration of the same. After running down rivals in round-robin and knockout stages, Rohit and his charges fell to an agonising defeat to five-time champions Australia in the title clash, prolonging their wait for a world title.

Be it the loss in the semi-final of the 2022 ICC Men's T20 World Cup, the final of the ICC World Test Championship 2023 and last year's 50-over World Cup, Indian cricket has suffered many heartbreaks at world events over the last few years.

Going into the 2024 Men's T20 World Cup, the fans are counting on Rohit and his boys to go all the way, as opposed to falling at the final hurdle.

The bond between Yuvraj and Rohit goes back to the Mumbaikaar's early days in the Indian setup. It's no secret that Yuvi was one of Rohit's closest friends in the dressing room and still is.

Yuvraj was one of the stars in the India squad when Rohit made his debut for the country. It was at the fall of the southpaw's wicket that a young Rohit stepped onto the international cricket scene in 2007, making his first appearance for the team with the willow against Ireland.

Their cricketing ties came full circle in 2019 when Yuvraj featured in his final Indian Premier League (IPL) season with the Mumbai Indians under Rohit's captaincy.

Thereafter, Yuvraj announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in June 2019.

Recalling his first impressions of the 'Hitman', who came to be a part of the Indian dressing room at the age of 17, Yuvi said he was struck by his humility, camaraderie and leadership qualities both on and off the field.

"Very poor English. Very funny guy. From the streets of Borivali (in Mumbai), we always tease him. But a great guy at heart," Yuvi said jokingly.

"The more success he's had, he has never changed as a person. That's the beauty of Rohit Sharma. Fun-loving, always having fun with the guys, A great leader on the park and one of my closest friends from cricket. I really want to see Rohit Sharma with a World Cup trophy and a World Cup medal. He really deserves it," the former India all-rounder signed off saying.

India squad for T20 World Cup: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Siraj.

Reserves: Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Khaleel Ahmed, Avesh Khan.