New Delhi: Rohit Sharma had promised to take his time and play a longish innings when he was asked about his long run of poor form and he did just that in the game against Bangladesh at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Wednesday. Even though it wasn’t one of his more fluent knocks, he did score 89 to help India post a winning total.
“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.“
Heaping praise on the 18-year-old off-spinner, Rohit said: "Washington has been courageous to take the ball from me, not afraid to flight the ball, and he’s very clear on what he wants to execute. That allows me to breathe easy. When a bowler knows what field to set, that talks a lot about that individual.”
“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.”
“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 said after the game.
Commenting on his instructions to Siraj at the start of the 20th over, Rohit 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.”