Rohit Sharma plays down expectations on India ahead of England T20 semi-final

Rohit Sharma tried to play down expectations for his Indian side ahead of the T20 World Cup semi-final against England, insisting the result will not define reputations.

India’s record in this tournament since being crowned inaugural champions in 2007 is surprisingly modest having reached the final on just one of the last six occasions.

They suffered a shock exit from the group stage in the United Arab Emirates last year but can banish those memories by beating England in Adelaide on Thursday and then Pakistan or New Zealand at the MCG on Sunday.

The reputation of Indian players is not expected to be dramatically damaged in the coming days, according to captain Rohit Sharma, right (Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP)

The reputation of Indian players is not expected to be dramatically damaged in the coming days, according to captain Rohit Sharma, right (Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP)

While India are seen as slight favorites to reach the showpiece game, Sharma feels his legacy and that of much-vaunted teammates such as Virat Kohli cannot be taken away by what happens in the coming days.

“There is only one chance to do well in a knockout game,” said the captain. “But for the players, what they’ve done in their whole career doesn’t define them by a single knockout game.

“All year round you work so hard to get where you want to be and to do well in whatever format you play in. So it’s not one game in particular that’s going to decide that.

“Knockout games are important, and if you’re successful it gives you this immense confidence. But we don’t forget what happened in the past, what the players did in the past.

“To be here at this time, we can congratulate ourselves and be proud of where we have arrived. I really don’t believe that a bad knockout game can really define the type of player you are.

India were without star fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah during their campaign due to a back injury, but left-hander Arshdeep Singh was a revelation with 10 wickets in five matches.

Kohli currently leads the tournament standings while Suryakumar Yadav is not far behind and boasts an astronomical strike rate of 193.96, with three half centuries to help India top their Super 12 group.

“When it comes to carrying the extra pressure, the extra baggage, I don’t think Suryakumar has that in him,” said Rohit, who added with a smile, “Except he has a lot of suitcases, he love shopping!

“But he likes to hit the same whether we are 10 for two or 100 for two. He likes to go out and express himself. As they say, the sky is the limit for him.

India left England in the summer with 2-1 wins in the T20 and ODI series. As they lost the last T20 meeting at Trent Bridge in July, India had launched a weakened bowling attack.

Suryakumar Yadav received rave reviews during the T20 World Cup (Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP)

Suryakumar Yadav received rave reviews during the T20 World Cup (Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP)

“In the back of our mind, yeah, we can have that confidence knowing we did pretty well against them,” Rohit said. “But we just need to start fresh and think about the game with a fresh mind.

“We can’t go into the game thinking we beat this team and it can happen again like this.

“Those guys are pretty dangerous. They played very good cricket in the tournament, that’s why they’re here, so we have to be at our best to win the game.

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