Vengsarkar: Rohit’s knock against Pakistan out of the world

Former Indian batsman Dilip Vengsarkar said that he is still not yet convinced about India's No 4 and No 5 batting positions.

Rohit Sharma scored 140 after India was put in to bat by Pakistan.   -  AP Photo

Lavishing praise on Rohit Sharma, former India skipper and ex-chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar described the opener’s match-winning century against Pakistan on Sunday in the World Cup 2019 as 'out of the world'.

“He (Rohit) has matured. He is playing for years now and is an experienced player. And I think (he is) one of the best in the world. The innings which he played yesterday was outstanding and out of the world,” Vengsarkar told reporters in Mumbai on Monday.

He was speaking after launching the ‘Indian Tennis Cricket League’ to be held in October at the D. Y. Patil stadium in Navi Mumbai.

Rohit produced a masterly century, scoring 140 off just 113 balls, to help India set Pakistan a stiff target of 337.

Pakistan crumbled in the face of the huge target and lost the rain-affected game at Old Trafford in Manchester by 89 runs through the D/L method.

Vengsarkar was impressed with the way Rohit opened the innings alongside his new opening partner K. L. Rahul, after regular opener Shikhar Dhawan was sidelined due to a thumb injury.

“It was a high-pressure game. His (regular) opening partner (Dhawan) was injured and not there. The way he played himself in, he showed a lot of responsibility and played his shots and improvised later on. He is a world-class player, full stop,” he said.

Apart from the hundred yesterday, Rohit’s unbeaten 122 against South Africa also helped India start its World Cup campaign on a winning note.

The former Indian captain was full of praise for the team's approach to the high-pressure game against Pakistan.

“India-Pakistan match is a big game, a pressure game, but the way the Indians played from the beginning put Pakistan on the back foot throughout,” he said.

While Vengsarkar said that he was not yet convinced about the number 4 and five spots.

“No 4, 5 batsmen - I am still not convinced about it. But I hope Vijay Shankar plays well in the remaining games. I have not seen him play, so I can’t say anything on him. But I hope he does well. Kedar Jadhav was picked as well and I hope they (the selected batsmen) do well,” he said.

“Virat (Kohli), Rohit (Sharma), Shikhar Dhawan, K L Rahul - they are class players and are in great form as well and that augurs well for the Indian team,” he remarked.

The former cricketer dubbed England as one of the favourites, apart from Australia, India and the West Indies, while he picked New Zealand as the 'dark horse'.

“England and India, at the moment, are doing extremely well - above all others. But you never know. India still have to play England and the West Indies. We have to wait and see, but India is doing extremely well,” he signed off.

India is undefeated in the World Cup, having beaten South Africa, Australia and Pakistan, while its game against New Zealand was washed out due to rain. The 2011 champion will next play Afghanistan on June 22 at Hampshire Bowl in Southampton.