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A new strategy has worked wonders for Team India

September 24, 2018 13:25 IST

When Hardik got injured, the challenge was to field four spinners and we thought about a few combinations (3 seamers, 4 spinners) and in these conditions it is important to take the pace off. For Jadeja, to come out and perform like that is amazing, says captain Rohit Sharma

'The entire bowling unit stuck to their task, and hats off to them' 

IMAGE: 'The entire bowling unit stuck to their task, and hats off to them'. Photograph: BCCI/Twitter

India captain Rohit Sharma was all praise for his bowling unit, which has consistently kept opposition teams on a tight leash and ensuring the side's smooth passage into the Asia Cup final.

India have assured themselves a spot in the summit clash after winning two Super Four Games against Bangladesh and Pakistan respectively. 

The Indian bowlers restricted Pakistan to 162 and 237 in two games while bowling out Bangladesh for 173.

 

"The entire bowling unit stuck to their task, and hats off to them. Repeated performances are challenging in these conditions and I don't want to take any credit away from bowlers," said Rohit, who was involved in a double hundred partnership with Shikhar Dhawan.

Rohit mentioned Jasprit Bumrah for his exceptional bowling in the ongoing tournament.

"I think he's (Bumrah) matured as a bowler now, played great amount of cricket and he understands his bowling. I think that's very, very important for any individual; Bumrah understands what fields he needs to set and knows how to keep it tight. Bhuvi also did the same," the skipper said.

Rohit was also happy that the strategy of playing four spinners, including part-timer Kedar Jadhav, has clicked so far with Ravindra Jadeja's comeback adding a new dimension.

"When Hardik got injured, the challenge was to field four spinners and we thought about a few combinations (3 seamers, 4 spinners) and in these conditions it is important to take the pace off. For Jadeja, to come out and perform like that is amazing."

They now have 13 century opening partnerships and Rohit feels batting with Dhawan becomes easy as both of them are clear about their roles.

"With Shikhar, I don't need to talk much. It's important to let him be himself. We have batted enough to know each other to start off like that and we clearly know our roles. We always knew that the new batsman will find it difficult to keep going straightaway and Shikhar and I knew it."

Shikhar Dhawan celebrates on reaching his century against Pakistan on Sunday

IMAGE: Shikhar Dhawan celebrates on reaching his century against Pakistan on Sunday. Photograph: BCCI/Twitter

On his own batting, the skipper spoke about how he has worked on his pull shots which have worked well for him during this tournament.  

"Nothing is easy (talking about the pulls for six). I have really worked hard on those kind of shots. When it comes off it really looks nice and I've gotten out a few times playing such shots.

"I back myself to play those shots. It's important to put pressure on bowlers. They have one of the great bowling attacks. Taking nothing away from their bowling and they have troubled us in the past."

Dhawan said he has become sensible in his shot selection of late, in white ball cricket, and it's from Rohit that he has learnt to convert those 50s into 100s'

"...he's very good at converting those 50s into 100s and that's something I've learnt from him. It's good that we both value our wicket. When you play 20 overs on this track, it gets easy. The plan was not to lose wickets in the first 10 overs as you might not get runs easily early on," Dhawan said.

"I wanted to be sensible with my shots and I've thrown it away in the past and I have learnt the lessons the hard way. That's the good for me and it's nice to have that balance," Dhawan said.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed rued the couple of dropped catches of Rohit, which cost his team dearly in the end.

"We made it tough for ourselves by dropping those catches. We were 20-25 runs short and if we would have held on to our catches we could have possibly made things interesting.

"The wicket was a bit difficult to play on in the afternoon as the cracks had widened up. It wasn't easy for a new batsman walking in. Had we got early wickets, this chase would have been certainly difficult. We have been losing a lot of wickets in the early overs and hence it becomes difficult to recover from such situations."

The Pakistan captain was all praise for the Indian centurions.

"The way they batted, all credit to them. Rohit and Dhawan were exceptional. They have shown better skills as compared to us. We need to work a lot on our skill level if at all we want to get into the final.

"It's a do-or-die match against Bangladesh, hopefully we'll come out on top."

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