Six-man Rohit credits Shami for super win
Rohit Sharma called India’s winning streak in the shortest form of the game a good run as they head towards the T20 World Cup later in the year.
The vice-captain put up a stellar performance in the third T20I versus New Zealand in Hamilton on Wednesday, which includes two match-winning sixes off Tim Southee in the Super Over, as India won the game and wrapped up the series with an unassailable 3-0 lead.
Rohit, who scored 65 off 40 balls and then an unbeaten 15 off four deliveries in the Super Over, has also forged two great opening partnerships for India with KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan. According to him, the team management will decide who opens alongside him in the T20 World Cup.
“Whenever these guys got an opportunity, they have made it count. Shikhar as well, when he played the last series (against Sri Lanka), he got a crucial 50 and then KL has been in good form over the last seven-eight T20Is. He has got quite a few half-centuries.
“So all these are good signs for the team. That’s how we look at it.
“It’s important for most of our players to stay in good form, and then what happens with the final XI and everything else will be decided once all the players are available. The captain and the rest of the management will sit together and identify who are the right guys to play that particular game. That’s how I look at it,” Rohit said at the post-match media conference.
“For me, I want everyone to stay in good form, which has happened through the series. It is a great sign for us moving forward in this particular format at least.
“I wish we don’t relax in the next two games and just keep the momentum going,” Rohit added.
India might not have won the game without Rohit’s Super Over sixes. But Rohit preferred to be modest, crediting Mohammed Shami who picked up both Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor in the final over to force a Super Over finish.
Both India and New Zealand were tied at 179 each before the Super Over.
“I think Shami’s last over was crucial, and actually that got us the victory. Not my two sixes. It was Shami’s (final) over where we defended nine runs. It’s not easy to do with such dew,” Rohit pointed out.
Captain Virat Kohli too was all praise for Shami, who bowled the last over on a day Jasprit Bumrah leaked 45 off his four overs.
“…Shami again showed his experience and bowled a couple of balls outside off stump, and then before the last ball, we had a discussion. We decided that we had to try and hit the stumps, otherwise it was a single anyway and we would then lose the game.
“So Shami went for it, got the wicket and the game turned on its head,” Kohli said.
Super Over heroics
Rohit revealed he took five minutes to find his abdomen guard before going back to the field for the Super Over. He said the team had almost given up when New Zealand needed only a couple off four balls with Williamson and Taylor at the crease.
“Everything was packed. I had all my stuff inside my bag and I had to get them out. It literally took me five minutes to find my abdomen guard because I didn’t know where it was,” Rohit said.
“I mean we never thought it would go to the Super Over, given the way they were batting. At one point, it looked like they would easily win the game.”
Rohit feels there is no training possible for Super Over eventualities.
“From what I’ve seen in Super Overs, whatever you are chasing, it’s the bowler who is under pressure. That’s my understanding,” he said.
Kohli, though, had full faith in his deputy taking the team home. “In the Super Over as well, New Zealand again put pressure on us. But Rohit was outstanding, both in the first half and also in the last two balls.
“We knew if he got one hit, the bowler would be under pressure because he’s such a good striker of the ball and that’s exactly what happened. His experience came in.
“Overall, a top day for us and a beautiful game to be part of,” Kohli emphasised.