Mohit Sharma: ‘India is a high quality side now’

Right-arm medium pacer Mohit, who was part of Team India’s World Cup campaign in 2015, backs the bowlers to do well against Australia at the Oval on Sunday.

Mohit Sharma backed the “high quality” players from Team India to deliver the goods against Australia on Sunday.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Four years ago, under the seasoned wings of Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, Haryana medium pacer Mohit Sharma had an impressive start to his World Cup career — 13 wickets in eight games — in the Trans-Tasman tournament. Not winning the semifinal against Australia in Sydney, however, remains a regret.

Ahead of India’s World Cup 2019 clash against Australia at the Oval on Sunday, the 30-year-old backed the “high quality” players from Team India to deliver the goods.

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“India is a high quality side now. If Kuldeep [Yadav] performs, he can win you a match. If any player from the top order scores, he can also win you the match. Our batting is top class. Even the bowling department is good and they can do well against Australia,” he told Sportstar.

Australia pace spearhead Mitchell Starc returned to form with a five-for and a record in the clash against West Indies in Nottingham. The left-arm pacer became the fastest to 150 ODI wickets [in 77 ODIs]. Mohit believes India should not panic at the rise of Starc, who was Australia’s star in 2015. 

“Starc bowled well in the last game with five wickets. No doubt he is a great bowler, but when you are coming back from an injury to play cricket, it takes time to be at your best,” he said.

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Mohit feels the Indian pacers are successful because they stick to their game plans. “The best part about our bowlers is that they don’t try to do anything outside their skill set. Bumrah [Jasprit] has turned out to be a world class bowler, he has the variety. Bhuvneshwar Kumar knows his strength is swing, so he will try his best to use swing to get wickets. It will be difficult for the Aussies.”

Recalling the Sydney heartbreak, he said, “We had a great tournament in 2015 with the ball. It is only the semifinal against Australia where we didn’t do well. The wicket was a slow one. It was difficult to chase a 300-plus score on that wicket.”