Despite attacking from the start is not his “natural game”, Rohit Sharma had to bat in the gung-ho fashion against Afghanistan considering India needed to win by a big margin. And they did by a 66-run difference on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi taking their NRR to positive after two losses.
Rohit Sharma blasted 74 runs off 47 balls in an innings laced with 8 fours and 3 sixes and showed attacking intent from the first over.
The pair of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul got reunited at the top, and the two smashed a 140-run opening stand – which Sharma himself acknowledged as the top-order failed previously – providing the base for Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya to launch an outstanding assault in the end.
“The idea was to go after it, and get off to a good start, which didn’t happen in the first two games and lay the platform for the others. Exceptional batting from Rahul, and that partnership was vital,” Rohit Sharma said at the post-match press conference.
It was a good pitch to bat on: Rohit Sharma
The 34-year-old admitted that the Abu Dhabi surface was much better for batsmen than their last two matches in Dubai.
He reckoned that they needed to bat in an attacking tempo to give themselves a good chance to boost their NRR.
“We were prepared to field first, and it was a good pitch to bat on. Getting to a respectable total was important, and the NRR could come into play so we had to win by a good margin, so glad we got that. Today it was necessary to get off to a good start, and that’s not my natural game – I usually like to get in. So I made an effort to settle in, play cricketing shots, and put up a big total,” Rohit Sharma concluded.
India now have opened their account in the tournament. They would need to win their remaining two matches in a similar fashion and hope for other results to go their way. They will next meet Scotland in Dubai on Friday.