Rohit Sharma: ‘We fought right till the end’

It was disappointing not to cross the finishing line, says the India captain after his team’s four-run loss.

Rohit Sharma scored a 32-ball 38 opening the innings.   -  AFP

The Indian team will return home having gained a lot of encouragement and learning from the tour of New Zealand, captain Rohit Sharma said after his team’s four-run defeat in the final Twenty20 International in Hamilton.

The narrow defeat consigned India to a 2-1 series defeat, a rare blip in an otherwise successful tour. India had registered a 4-1 win in the One-Day International (ODI) series prior to the Twenty20s.

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On Sunday, India put up a spirited chase of its target of 213. Cameos by top-order batsmen kept the team in the contest throughout. “[It was] disappointing not to cross the line but we fought well right till the end. 210-odd (213 target) was always going to be tough, but we were in it till the end. They held their nerve and kept hitting their yorkers,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

He added, “[There are] still [a] lot of positives. We started well with the ODIs, [and] wanted to do well here but the boys throughout the tour were excellent, [they] put in a lot of hard work. They will be disappointed tonight but we’ve to learn from the mistakes we made and move ahead.”

‘Great advertisement’

New Zealand will take a lot of confidence from the T20 triumph against India as it prepares to host Bangladesh at home, according to Kane Williamson, the captain. He said, “[It was a] brilliant high-scoring game, a great advertisement for T20 cricket. The first performance was our best, there were learnings in the second game. Both teams put in strong performances tonight, we did slightly better.”

Colin Munro plays an aggressive stroke en route to his 72, on Sunday. Photo: AP

 

Opener and Man-of-the-Match Colin Munro said it was anybody’s game with India needing 16 off the final over. “It was touch and go there until the final minute. India — you get one good batsman, another one comes along. The boys did a really good job of finishing off the really good Indian batsmen,” said Munro.

Commenting on his knock of 72 (off 40 deliveries), he said: “I didn’t really focus on trying to do anything different. [I] tried to put pressure back on the bowlers. Just came out nice and free, had a bit of luck, which you certainly need in this match.”