After registering a series of low scores in his last few T20I innings, India’s stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma finally played a meaningful knock in the ongoing Twenty-20 tri-series against Bangladesh on Thursday (March 14). Rohit scored a classy 61-ball 89 as the Men in Blue beat Bangladesh by 17 runs to secure their birth in the final.
Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Rohit said: “It was important for me to step up. Like I said at the toss I tried to take my time with the bat at the start and then play my shots later on. I felt we were 10-15 runs short with the bat at the end, but they bowled brilliantly at the death.
“Washington started brilliantly with the ball and his magical spell changed the game for us. The entire bowling unit too stuck to their plans and pulled it off for us. The wicket wasn't the usual wicket we've been playing on for the last week. It was gripping and was slow and hence difficult to play on the up and that is why I wanted to take my time. One set batsman had to bat and I knew a new batsman would find it tough,” he added.
After being put into bat by Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah, India rode on a strong batting performance to amass a total of 176 on the board. Besides Rohit’s super show with the willow, Shikhar Dhawan (35 runs off 27 balls) and Suresh Raina (47 runs off 30 balls) also played good hands.
In the second half, India’s inexperienced bowling attack executed their plans to perfection and restricted Bangladesh to 159/6 in 20 overs. The 18-year-old Washington Sundar was the pick of the bowler as he scalped 3 for 22 in his 4 overs while Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Siraj and Yuzvendra Chahal claimed wicket a piece.
“The partnership between Raina and me was key; he has been timing the ball brilliantly and that is great to see. Hope he can do it for us in the finals as well. [Praising Sundar] He is never afraid of flighting the ball, sets his own field and it says a lot about an individual. It allows me also to breathe easy and set the field accordingly. In the series we played against Sri Lanka in India, we saw that from him and today was no different,” Rohit asserted.
Commenting on his instructions to Siraj at the start of the 20th over, the Indian captain said: “I just told Siraj to keep it simple (in the last over) and we knew that that was the way to contain them. They needed 28 runs and we knew that would happen only if they hit big. I asked him to bowl that back of a length ball because we found it tough to hit.
“From whatever I have seen of him he can do very well. He is a great talent, has all the capabilities of doing what a fast bowler has to do. He's coming back off a break and that's never easy. It wasn't a good game for him, but he has a lot of talent to come back hard,” Rohit concluded.
Having already qualified for the final, India will now have a showdown against the winner of Sri Lanka versus Bangladesh game on Sunday (March 18).