On Father’s Day, Rohit Sharma attributed his current purple patch to him being in a relaxed state following the birth of his daughter. “It is a very good phase in my life. Having a newly-born daughter has left me in a good space. Plus I have had a good IPL and the focus here was to start well. For us as a team, it is important to keep ticking all the boxes,” the opener told the media here on Sunday night.
Asked about his splendid 140 that laid low Pakistan in a crucial World Cup game at Old Trafford, Rohit highlighted the batting approach: “As a batsman when conditions are challenging, you got to assess it. The pitch was under cover for the last two days and we needed to assess and ensure that you don’t lose too many wickets upfront. The idea was not to lose wickets, build a platform and then take the game forward. It was a satisfying knock.”
Rohit also allowed his new partner K.L. Rahul to bat first: “Rahul also likes to take first strike, so I wanted to give him that space. Nothing specific, I wanted to make sure he is comfortable because he is opening after a while.”
The Indian vice-captain staunchly supported spinner Kuldeep Yadav: “He is someone who needs a lot of confidence before going into a spell. He is a match-winner and has a good record. He got us two crucial wickets. He didn’t start the tournament the way he would have liked to but we wanted to give him the confidence and he is one of our premier bowlers.”
Meanwhile, Sarfaraz Ahmed said that India tended to handle pressure better in high-stakes games. “I think in World Cup matches where the pressure is more, India has had an upper hand and they have won more matches. We won a good toss but we didn’t capitalise on the conditions and we didn’t hit the right spots,” the Pakistan captain said.
Sarfaraz lauded Rohit’s superb ton and said: “Rohit played really well and initially he had his luck and we missed a run-out and these are the chances you got to grab in such a big game.” And on the road ahead, Sarfaraz said: “We need to win the remaining four to stay in contention for a semifinal. We need to play good cricket.”
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