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Captain’s ‘simple’ strategy

The third and final T20I is on Sunday in Nagpur
Bangladesh’s Mohammad Naim plays a shot during the match on Thursday

TT Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 07.11.19, 09:17 PM

Rohit Sharma cashed in on excellent batting conditions in Rajkot on Thursday. With the weather not even coming close to playing spoilsport, conditions became ideal for batting as the game progressed.

After the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal and Deepak Chahar did well to restrict Bangladesh to 153/6, Rohit’s stroke-play made it simpler for India as they raced to an eight-wicket victory with 26 balls remaining and levelled the series 1-1 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

Rohit’s strategy was simple during India’s chase. “I knew the conditions were perfect and there was no turn on offer. All I wanted to do was remain stationed and tonk the ball… Simple,” the stand-in captain said during the post-match presentation.

“I never underestimate the opposition, particularly the bowlers... All these years I have only tried to do my best when I have the bat in my hand,” he added.

About showing emotions on the field, Rohit commented: “I’m quite an emotional guy on the field and regarding some of the decisions we made in the last game, we were pretty sloppy. The focus, however, is to get the job done and those are the emotions that come out.”

Rohit certainly credited India’s bowlers, particularly spinners Chahal and Washington Sundar, for not letting Bangladesh put too many runs on the board especially after the solid start they were off to.

“Both the spinners are very smart and they understand their bowling really well. More importantly, they analyse and always have conversations with coach and the captain on where they can improve.

“They played a lot of domestic cricket and Sundar has been our new-ball bowler as well. In this game, I wanted to change it considering how big the ground is. So, I wanted to keep his three overs at the back end,” the skipper explained.

Thanks mainly to Rohit, India scored at almost 11 per over during the Powerplay, making matters easier for themselves.

“I knew that it’s a good track here and it would be difficult for bowlers in the second innings. We took maximum advantage of that and had a great Powerplay. After that, it was all about going on,” Rohit said.

This kind of a victory sets the team up well for their coming assignments, Rohit emphasised.

“2019 has been very good for us so far. We just want to finish well as there is also a series against the West Indies coming up.And not to forget, we have the two Test matches (versus Bangladesh) as well. So, we just want to keep the good work going,” Rohit signed off.

The third and final T20I is on Sunday in Nagpur. But with Rohit playing such a blazing knock when it really mattered, momentum is with India and Bangladesh are back to feeling the heat again.


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