ICC World Cup 2023 – Ind vs SA – Rohit Sharma says India are holding on for now

“It’s important that we stay in the moment. That was always the talk from the game in the first place, it’s not like we want to change anything,” he added

ESPNcricinfo staff

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In the end, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill were so strong among South Africa’s new bowlers that India scored more in their first ten overs – 91 – than South Africa did in their entire innings.

Rohit was the firestarter as India crossed fifty in the fifth over and he finished with 40 off 24 balls, providing the ignition needed to score 326 for 5, a total well over par in an Eden Gardens pitch that helped spin. But after the game, he said that his approach was not pre-planned.

“Not really, that is something we didn’t discuss, to be honest,” said Rohit in the post-match presentation when asked if there was any attempt to be aggressive against South Africa. “Gill and I have been fighting for a long time and that’s how we bowled most of our innings together. We let our instincts speak for us, we let it go in the middle and didn’t plan ahead. . If the wicket is good, we want to go out there and play the kind of cricket we play and everything is in place.”

And everything fell into place for India. After he and Gill were dismissed, Virat Kohli went on to score his record-equaling 49th ODI century and his 134-run partnership with Shreyas Iyer ensured that India were always above par even though the pitch is hard to rock.

“If we look at how we played in the last three games, we played better [against South Africa] in terms of adapting to the situation,” said Rohit. “We were put under a bit of pressure against England where we lost three wickets ahead and then we collected ourselves and got a decent score and the seamers did the work for us. In the last game also, we lost a wicket in the first over, but we stitched a very big partnership there and then got a good score again, and again, the seamers came to the party.

“Again today too, it’s not an easy ​​​​pitch, you need someone like Kohli to go out there and bat in the situation. [Shreyas] Iyer, make that partnership for us and get runs on the board and then we know we have runs on the board and it’s time to keep the ball in the right places, and the pitch will do its thing.

After scoring 326 at the Eden Gardens, India dismantled South Africa for just 83 ICC via Getty Images

Rohit had words of praise for Mohammed Shami and Iyer. Despite not playing the first four matches of the league, Shami was India’s leading wicket-taker in the World Cup, with 16 wickets in just 26 overs, at an astonishing strike rate of 9.7, an average of 7.00, an economy of 4.30. Iyer, on the other hand, scored back-to-back half-centuries against South Africa and Sri Lanka, after scoring just one in his first six World Cup innings.

“Honestly, even if they don’t pay, I still hold that belief,” said Rohit. “It’s important to give the guys freedom in the middle. It’s important that they understand what’s expected of them. And I also understand that it doesn’t happen every game. You have to keep the confidence in the guys who have done the job for the team .It doesn’t happen every day but when it does, everything is fine.

“That’s what happened with Shami. In the first few games, he wasn’t part of the XI, but for him to come back the way he was in the last four games shows the mindset and quality of the player. Like Iyer, no get the runs he expects by his own standards but [in] the last two games, it shows the class he has.”

In the absence of Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja has stepped up to provide as India’s only allrounder. After going unbeaten in the first four matches, he helped seal the chase against New Zealand (39* off 44), and produced strong finishes while leading against Sri Lanka (35 off 24) and South Africa ( 29* of 15). He also took 14 wickets with an economy of 3.76, including a five-wicket haul against South Africa.

“Jadeja is very good,” Rohit said. “He’s been a huge match-winner for us, playing all three formats for us for years now. He’s been doing the job, always under the radar but now it’s a classic case of what the Jadeja for us – runs the scores. at the back end and then to go out and take wickets. Very important player. He knows what is expected of him from the team.”

With eight wins in eight matches, India have secured the top spot in the league with a game in hand, against the Netherlands in Bengaluru on November 12. After that, they will play their semi-final against the team that finishes fourth in the league, but Rohit is not looking too far ahead.

“It’s something we always talked about when we changed. Not to get ahead of ourselves. There’s still a long way to go in the tournament,” Rohit said. “It’s important that we stay in the moment. That’s always the talk from the game in the first place, it’s not like we want to change anything or we’re going to talk about anything. potential.”

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