Rohit Sharma: 'Whenever the bowlers are put under pressure, they know how to come back'

Rohit defended India’s fast bowlers – Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah – who he described as “two of the best death-overs bowlers in the world” and outlined the difficulty of their task of defending the total.

“If you see the last five ODIs we played against Australia in India, you can clearly see that things had been pulled back by these two guys (Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah)," Rohit Sharma said after India's 2-1 series win over New Zealand.   -  AFP

There were a number of sizeable knocks by batsmen of both sides here, but perhaps the most entertaining one belonged to the top-scorer Rohit Sharma. The opener looked so comfortable in the middle during his 147 here that it seemed nothing could shake him. Every stroke played was with precision, and with a touch of his trademark disdain that captures awe. Speaking at the end of what was a thrilling climax to the One-Day International series, Rohit recollected his innings to the media, and admitted to being well aware of the true nature of the wicket.

“I’ve played here now a few times and I understand the nature of the wicket, so unless you make a mistake you’re not going to get out. The most important thing about my batting today was the partnership. [I didn’t play a risk-taking shot until] I got to a hundred. I was playing my natural game.

"The loose balls that I got, I was trying to put them away. We rotated the strike really well. We got those odd boundaries and then yes, once you get to a hundred, you’re set, you’re seeing the ball well, you know exactly what the bowlers are doing, so I was just trying to go as long as possible,” he said.

He summed up the nature of the track here as “you get value for your shots, outfield is lightning fast, so it was just about timing the ball really well.”

Much as Rohit’s knock was from the top drawer, it wasn’t enough to put the game beyond the reach of New Zealand. Rohit defended India’s fast bowlers – Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah – who he described as “two of the best death-overs bowlers in the world” and outlined the difficulty of their task of defending the total.

“If you see the last five ODIs we played against Australia in India, you can clearly see that things had been pulled back by these two guys. Even today, it wasn’t so easy for the fast bowlers, because there was a lot of dew on the field, ball was wet and to be able to defend 30 runs (off three overs) on that kind of wicket and considering so much dew on the field, and two set batsmen [was creditworthy]. You’re talking about the two best death over bowlers in the world. Because of Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah, the game could be pulled towards us,” Rohit said.

Reacting well to pressure, according to Rohit, was a “hallmark of this team”. He said, “We knew it wasn’t easy because there was a lot of dew on the field. Whenever the bowlers are put under pressure, they know how to come back. If you can handle these kind of situations really well, as a team you’re only going to grow.”