Rohit Sharma was a pleased captain after India completed a 3-0 clean sweep over New Zealand with a thumping 90-run victory in the third and final ODI at Indore on Tuesday (January 24).
Invited to bat first, the Men in Blue piled up a gigantic 385/9 in their allotted 50 overs on the back of stunning centuries from Shubman Gill (112 off 78 balls) and Rohit (101 off 85 balls).
Defending the total, Indian bowlers proved to be too good for the Kiwi batting line-up, bundling them out for 295 in 41.2 overs. While Shardul Thakur (3-45) and Kuldeep Yadav (3-62) claimed three wickets each, the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal (2-43), Hardik Pandya (1-37) and Umran Malik (1-52) shared the remaining four scalps among them.
Speaking after the game, Rohit expressed his delight over the fact that India’s bowling attack stepped up to the plate in the last ODI even though Mohammad Shami and Mohammed Siraj didn’t feature in the line-up.
“I thought in the last six games we played we did most parts right and that is the key in 50-over games. We were consistent too. Without Siraj and Shami I knew we wanted to give chances to people on the bench. Wanted to get Chahal and Umran in the mix. We wanted to see how they react under pressure. I know we had the runs on the board, but I don't think any score is safe here. We bowled pretty well, stuck to our plans and held the nerve. Shardul has been doing it for a while. People call him magician in the squad and he came and delivered. Just need to get more games under his belt,” Rohit quoted at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“Every time I have given Kuldeep the ball he has given breakthroughs and taken important wickets. The wrist spinners get better with game time,” he added.
Reflecting on his 212-run opening stand with Gill, the Indian skipper said: “Gill's approach is quite similar every game. Wants to start afresh every game. As a youngster, coming into the team and to have that attitude is great. He could have taken it lightly but he doesn't seem to be that type. Today's hundred means a lot to me. I've been batting well, so it was just about going that extra mile.”
With this thumping victory, Team India also displaced New Zealand from the top spot in the ICC ODI team rankings. However, Rohit isn’t reading too much into it.
“Honestly we don't talk much about rankings. We discuss mainly about doing the right things on the field,” he stated.
Under Rohit Sharma, India’s next assignment is the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia, starting February 9 in Nagpur.
“Australia is a quality team and things won't be easy for us but I think we are ready for the series,” he concluded.
(With Cricbuzz Inputs)