From outside, Virat KohliThe record 101 from 121 balls against South Africa on Sunday may seem a bit laborious, but the Indian captain Rohit Sharma termed the innings as one that suited the conditions and situation of the match. Kohli’s 49th ODI hundred paved the way for India’s 326 for five on a slightly timid Eden Gardens pitch, which ultimately proved to be well over par. “If you look at how we played in the last three games, we adapted better. Today we needed Kohli to go out there and adapt to the situation. We knew then that we had to keep him in the good areas (with the ball) and let the field do the rest,” Rohit said during the post-match presentation.
Iyer made an outstanding tally of 77 from 87 balls while Shami picked a wicket which took his tally to 15 in the tournament.
Rohit said he would have kept faith in them even if they hadn’t put up such performances.
“Even if my faith had not been rewarded (by Shreyas and Shami), I would have remained loyal to them. We have to keep the trust. This cannot be done every day. For Shami to come back the way he has done, shows the mindset. The last two matches have shown what Iyer is capable of,” he noted.
From the start, Rohit struck a fascinating alliance with his partner Shubman Gil but the captain said their aggressive approach was not premeditated.
“Gill and I have been fighting together for the majority of the time now. We let our instincts take over. We don’t plan anything in advance. We just evaluate and play accordingly,” he said.
Ravindra Jadeja also made a statement about his skills while making a quick 29 from 15 balls that gave India some steam late on, then returned to collect a five-wicket haul (5/33).
Rohit praised Jadeja for his all-round effort.
“Today was a classic case of what Jadeja is for us. He came out at the death and scored vital runs. Then he took wickets. He knows his role and knows the expectations of him .” India have now won an unprecedented eight consecutive matches in the World Cup, but Rohit did not give in to hyperbole.
“There was talk in the locker room about not getting too far ahead of ourselves. We have some big games coming up. We don’t want to change anything.” South Africa captain Temba Bavuma said his team failed to adapt that day.
“We know the challenge, know the narrative around us when we chase. We didn’t do it justice today. When we talk about it as a batting group, we have to be honest,” he said .
“The first ten overs with the ball were a challenge. We did pretty well after that. The biggest challenge was taking wickets and India built big stands. The conditions are the biggest learning.
“Wicket played as we suspected – we expected him to deteriorate but we didn’t adapt well. It will be up to us to adapt our skills accordingly,” he said.
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