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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Rohit gets big praise from Shoaib Akhtar

Rohit gets big praise from Shoaib Akhtar

June 25, 2024 14:06 IST
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Runaway Rohit roars back into form ahead of semis.

Rohit Sharma hit a 41-ball 92 and became the first player to hit 200 sixes in T20 Internationals

IMAGE: Rohit Sharma hit a 41-ball 92 and became the first player to hit 200 sixes in T20 Internationals. Photograph: BCCI/X

Skipper Rohit Sharma conjured a match-winning knock to propel India to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup on Monday and the timing of his return to form could not be any better.

 

The white-ball stalwart went into the Super Eight Group 1 match against Australia with scores of 13, three, eight and 23 in his previous four innings.

As if to prove a point, Rohit put on a show with a 41-ball 92 that powered India to an imposing 205-5, their highest total in the tournament.

Perhaps aware of murmurs about his susceptibility against left-arm seamers, Rohit smashed Mitchell Starc for four sixes in a 29-run over to throw the bowler out of the attack.

To stop the batting carnage, Australia captain Mitchell Marsh handed the ball to Pat Cummins, who claimed a hat-trick in each of his last two outings.

Rohit welcomed Cummins by hitting the first ball from the bowler to the roof of the stand en route to a 19-ball fifty, the fastest by any batter in this year's tournament.

"Rohit Sharma got them off to an absolute flyer," Australia skipper Marsh said after a loss that placed them on the brink of elimination.

"We've seen for 15 years that when he's in that mode, it's very hard to stop. I'm going to give some credit to him."

Playing potentially his last T20 World Cup, 37-year-old Rohit clobbered eight sixes and it was not mindless slogging either.

"That's what I have to do at the top of the order, try and see what the bowlers are trying to do and play accordingly," Rohit said of his role in the batting lineup.

Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar showered praise on the Indian skipper.

"The depression India was going through after their defeat to Australia in the ODI World Cup final has changed into obsession. India wanted to take down Australia. Rohit Sharma did what he needed to do. He played with brilliant intent, the way he took down Starc. I wish he scored 150 today," Akhtar said in a video shared on his X handle.

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