Q1. Hi Rohit so where have you been in the Lockdown and what have you been doing?
I have been in Mumbai, it’s the place where I live and since the lockdown happened I’ve not moved out from my place except to buy some groceries which are the essentials, and also it’s been 2 months for us here now.
Q2. How you’ve been doing its still crazy because some people are telling me and I don’t agree with this. I was in Newcastle United for 4 years and used to travel with the team and team hotels can be really damn boring and some people are telling me that for you as a sportsman it’s just like been in the team hotel before a game is it like that or is it completely different?
No, it’s completely different. Yes it’s nice to be in the team hotel where are teammates are around but when you are at home, you are at home, you are at ease without any pressure you are with your family, your kids and you feel like home, whereas when you are in the hotel you are thinking about the game, thinking about the performance, thinking about the oppositions also what you want to do on the field that kind of the stuff so you are always thinking about something or the other and right now here I am not thinking about anything. Now I am just thinking about which movies to watch, what TV show to catch on, is there any football games coming on the television or cricket games that are coming on television that’s all I’m thinking about right now.
Q3. How is your sleeping balance right now? Do you watch Netflix till 2am or 3am?
No, not really, unfortunately, I cannot afford to stay up late till 3 am because my little one sleeps around 10 o’clock in the night and she wakes up through the night so I better get some sleep along with my daughter so that when she wakes up in the morning I’m up and fresh and because if I don’t sleep on time my sleep is gone because she wakes up early in the morning so I go to bed around 11 or 11:30 pm and then I’m up by 7:30 am. I have got the entire day to watch the shows, movies anything that I want to watch so I try and occupy myself during the day time more than the night.
Q4. What’s been your biggest show that you have watched during lockdown and what’s been your favorite?
I have finished watching Money Heist, it’s one of the best series I have watched after a long time and yes it’s a Spanish show so obviously, it’s pretty good, pretty intense also quite a lot of stories, romance, thrill so it’s everything in one package. Also, I also love watching FRIENDS, it’s probably the best.
Q5. So what’s been your go to in the fridge, Rohit?
I have been pretty good with my diet because it’s so easy to put on weight when you are not doing anything although we have got a gym over here also we have a running area where we can do some running it’s about for 50m or 100m and in Mumbai, it’s totally different and not like other places where you have your own houses with backyards, Mumbai is more of an apartment culture here they have got big buildings 50 – 60 floors buildings so I get some running done here and it’s not like what you generally do on the field it’s just at least something.
Q6. So when you go back what are you looking forward to the most and you miss that kind of camaraderie with the guys don’t you?
Yes, I miss that although we as friends are trying to stay in touch through the video calls and video conference calls to see what’s one been up to, things like that and we manage that pretty well and yes I miss my teammates, hanging around with them also have some banter here and there because when you are playing together, from almost 365 days we are together for 300 days, we are playing, travelling together, so it’s like a family with all these guys. So the first thing I want to do is to catch up with all these guys and try to hit some balls as soon as I can.
Q7. Who are you looking forward to meeting first when you go back? Who is the joker in the team?
There are quite a few jokers in the squad. In India, it is going to be different as certain parts of the country have been affected the most and certain parts that have not been affected a lot. So I am assuming that those places might open up a lot earlier than Mumbai, the city where I stay and which is the most infected. I feel the other guys will send me videos of catching up with each other a lot earlier than I do.
Q8. You are coming back from a calf Injury as well. Now that the IPL is postponed does this help you in terms of your schedule in making a comeback?
Before the lockdown started I was almost ready to play. That whole week was going to be my fitness test but unfortunately I had to push back on things. Once the lockdown is over I will go to the center and give my fitness test and after I pass my fitness test I will be able to resume playing with my team once again.
Q9. What are the sports do you normally follow?
I follow football. When I am at home I watch football more than cricket. When you are watching it is too pleasing to the eye to watch all these players execute their skills, I am a big believer in skills, and that why I love watching football. I do watch some tennis as well but not as much as I watch football
Q10. If you play football professionally what position will you play?
I would see myself playing in midfield and not attacking too much because that position is very skillful and you have to create a lot of chances and I don’t like running a lot. It’s a position where you not only create opportunities but also stop the opposition from creating opportunities. I have tried playing a charity football game here in India, it was Bollywood against the cricketers, the All-stars and it was damn tough. it was 5-6 years ago, I remember, I was 25-26… there were a lot of older guys in the team who just did not want to do the running and made us do the running instead. Mahi, Yuvraj, and Virat were there in the team, Yuvraj is someone who doesn’t like to run and so is MS Dhoni.
I hope everyone takes care of themselves and their families. It is always nice to interact with a different sporting culture. In India, we have a lot of football fans who watch LaLiga. We have been noticing that LaLiga is creating a lot of awareness in the country ensuring that everybody stands safe and taking a lot of initiatives that we as Indians are proud of. So, whenever the tournament resumes, we get to see the same intensity and atmosphere, I am not sure that there will be people in the stadium but nevertheless we will take the empty stadiums as well as long as we get to watch the sport.
Q11. Last question Rohit, Do you think after all of this, and games being played in empty stadiums there will be a new appreciation from everyone including players as to how important the fans are to the whole experience?
Fans are so important for any sporting event across the world. They make the sport look so glamorous and right now we will understand the importance of them not being there at least for a little while. At the moment safety of people is of utmost importance and once those measures have been taken, then there can be an allowance of the fans to come to the stadium and watch the game. Safety is very important and that will be taken into consideration before taking any measures.
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