To chase down 359 is no mean feat on any wicket. Rohit Sharma- the man who was instrumental in making that possible for India admitted that it would have been impossible for him to win the match for India without the efforts of Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan.
Rohit smashed an unbeaten 141 off 123 balls as India chased down the target with 39 balls to spare. He said the new ODI rules did help the cause for India.
“We knew that because of the new rules, with five fielders inside at all times, it’s a bit easy. Building partnerships was very important. Once we were set, it helped. I started well with Dhawan and then Kohli took over from where Dhawan had left. The dew helped, but I didn’t expect it to be a nine-wicket win,” he said.
“We wanted to keep 40-run partnerships going. We played with the Australian bowlers’ minds. We wanted to dominate once we got that start. I believe Kohli played some amazing shots and Dhawan had initially got the momentum going. It was unfortunate that he got out, but that happens,” said Rohit.
Rohit’s talent has never been in doubt but the Mumbai batsman has been guilty of giving away good starts. But on Wednesday, Rohit made sure that he makes the most out of a good start.
“More than me, you guys were frustrated that I wasn’t getting 100s (laughs). I see a lot of smiles and it is heartening. It was important to keep wckets in hand and there wasn’t much help for the bowlers.
We held our nerves and capitalised on loose balls. The opening partnership was important and I was very happy. I am happy to play my part in the India’s highest successful run-chase.”
Rohit is enjoying his role as an opener and rates the knock as his best.
“It was my best innings because the team won. Personal milestones don’t matter if the team doesn’t do well. Right now, we need to keep the momentum going. It is a huge responsibility to open and while I am enjoying it, I don’t want to stop here and hope to do lot more in the future,” he said.
While the Indian bowlers were taken to the cleaners, Rohit feels that it has more to do with the new ODI rules than the Indian bowlers bowling badly.
“The rules nowadays are a bit against the bowlers. It’s not easy for them and our bowlers have done well in the Champions Trophy and also in the Wst Indies and Zimbabwe. In this series, even the Australian bowlers have been hit, so we aren’t too worried,” he noted.
Commenting on the mood inside the dressing room once the players went in during the innings break, Rohit said: “We weren’t upset in the dressing room as we knew if we did what we do as a batting unit, we would win.”
Australian skipper George Bailey agreed that it was an immaculate run chase by the Indians and he didn’t have much to complain as the visitors were completely outplayed.
“Such a loss is deflating, but you can’t do much as we were outplayed. I think Kohli played really smart as he ensured that Rohit didn’t have to take too many risks,” he said.
But Bailey did concede that the dropped chance off Dhawan when the latter was on 18 changed the course of the match, but he was quick to add that not much can be done about those things.
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.
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