Rohit Sharma: ‘We played with aggression’

India never backed down from any situation and thus was deserving winner of the ODI and Twenty20 series, said the team’s stand-in captain.

The Indian team with the trophy after winning the Twenty20 series decider.   -  AP

India never backed down in adverse situations and played an aggressive brand of cricket to emerge as deserving winner in the One-Day International and Twenty20 series, said stand-in captain Rohit Sharma after winning the third and final Twenty20 International against South Africa.

“We will take these limited-overs trophies, throughout the series we played with a lot of aggression. As a group, we never back down from any situation. That is the reason we are standing here as winners,” Sharma said.

Sharma also lauded his bowlers for a clinical performance. “We discussed certain plans and it worked today. The idea was to keep the ball on the stumps and we kept it tight in the first six overs. Credit to the new-ball bowlers. It was a complete bowling performance,” he said.

‘15 runs short’

India’s score of 172 for 7 wasn’t perfect, admitted Sharma. “To be honest, we were 15 runs short. Because the way the first half went, I thought we lost our way in the end. These things happen and we learn from it. I thought it was a decent score and the bowlers did the job for us. I hope games like these teach us a lot of things.”

JP Duminy, South Africa’s stand-in captain credited India for dominating the powerplays with both bat and ball. “They bowled pretty well in the powerplay, and we just couldn’t get the boundaries. The difference from their batting powerplay and ours was 30 runs. I definitely thought 170 was chaseable,” he said.

“The slower balls and the knuckle balls from them worked. I am proud of the way the guys fought, especially [Christiaan] Jonker. It is amazing to see a lot of talent coming through. All credit to India, outstanding white-ball tour for them.”

‘Licence’

Raina, who was adjudged the Man of the Match for scoring 43 off 27 balls and taking one wicket for 27 in three overs, credited skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri for showing confidence in him. “Especially in the first overs, you need to show intent. Thanks to Virat and Ravi bhai, they gave me the licence. The way we played, the dressing room atmosphere is so calm.

“The last we have done in two-and-a-half months, no team has done it in a long time.”

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was awarded the Man of the Series award. He said, “I really enjoyed this tour. I was very happy with my preparation. First of all thanks to IPL, it has made an Indian bowler a thinking bowler.” Bhuvneshwar took seven wickets, including a five-wicket haul, in the T20I series.

“It is important not to give too many runs in the first six overs. I always try to keep it simple. I hardly get these kind of wickets in India and I enjoyed this.”