Men’s ODI WC: Happy that all experienced players came good on a challenging pitch, says Rohit as India defend 229

Photo: IANS

Photo: IANS

Lucknow | India captain Rohit Sharma was happy on Sunday to see his team challenged by its opponent for the first time in the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 and coming out victorious against England at the BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium.

The Indian skipper was elated that all his experienced players came good on a challenging pitch after being put under pressure for the first time in this event as they fought back to beat England by 100 runs in a low-scoring encounter.

Having won their first five matches so far by chasing the total, India were in trouble after losing three wickets for 40 runs before Rohit Sharma struck a 101-ball 87 and Suryakumar Yadav scored a 47-ball 49 to guide them to a below-par 229/9 in 50 overs.

The bowlers then came good as Mohammad Shami (4-22), Jasprit Bumrah (3-32) and Kuldeep Yadav (2-24) helped skittle out England for 129 in 34.5 overs.

“I think this was a game where we showed a lot of character. All the experienced players stood up at the right time and won us the game,” said Rohit Sharma during the post-match press conference here on Sunday.

Rohit said his team was challenged by its opponent for the first time and was happy that they managed to withstand the pressure.

“Looking at how the tournament has gone for us, batting second in the first five games and then we had to bat first here, we were challenged. We knew the pitch had something in it and we had the experience in our bowling, so we wanted to get to a decent total,” he said.

The Indian skipper was not happy with his batting unit for failing to capitalise on recovering from 40/3 in the power play. he said they fell short by at least 30 runs.

“We were not great with the bat, losing three wickets in the first powerplay isn’t the ideal situation. You have to then create a long partnership, which we did. But then we just lost wickets, including mine. Looking at the overall picture, I thought we were 30 runs short,” he said.

Rohit said that India doesn’t usually get into this kind of situation of defending a small total and praised his seamers for exploiting the conditions well.

“You don’t see that every day when you are defending such a total. Our seamers exploited the conditions very well, there was swing and lateral movement available,” he said.

Rohit agreed that the Indian bowling attack had all varieties, and it was important for the batters to give them something to work with.

“I think so, we have got a good balance there. A couple of good spinners and seamers bring in their experience. When you have a bowling line-up like that, it’s important that the batters give them something to work with, and show their magic,” said Rohit.


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