Mumbai– India’s superb batting display in the 66-run win against Afghanistan in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup came in for praise from former India captain Sachin Tendulkar with the cricket legend impressed especially with openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul for the manner in which they gave the team a great start =,
After India’s top-order batting line-up comprising of Rohit Sharma (74 off 47 balls), KL Rahul (69 off 48 balls), Hardik Pandya (35 not out off 13 balls), and Rishabh Pant (27 not out off 13 balls) rose to the occasion to post a gigantic 210/2 in 20 overs, it was always a mountain to climb for Afghanistan, who made 144/7 in their 20 overs.
He said the Indians handled Afghanistan’s star spinner Rashid Khan. “Rarely do you see Rashid Khan giving away 35-36 runs in four overs in T20s.”
“The way Rohit and Rahul batted was brilliant. The match was a big one for team India and we badly needed that (win),” Tendulkar said in a video analysis posted on his Facebook page. He said the partnership between Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya in the last 3.3 overs made all the difference for India.
The batting legend was particularly impressed with the way Rohit Sharma batted against Mohammad Nabi on Wednesday. He said Nabi usually holds the ball across the seam as an outswinger and Rohit did not play across to him.
“The best thing I found about Rohit today is that the way he played the inside-out (shot) to off-spinner Nabi. Rohit’s experience helped him in this situation, he did not hit across the line a lot and instead played inside-out, showing the full face of his bat, and he played some good shots so as with KL Rahul, very calm and composed and even played some exquisite shots,” Tendulkar said.
He also lauded the Indian openers for their running between the wicket, something they are not known much for. “The running between the wicket of the opening pair was really impressive. Usually while scoring boundaries during the Power-play, the batters miss singles and doubles. but that was not the case today and the running was also equally aggressive,” said Tendulkar.
Tendulkar felt that Afghanistan missed a trick or two by opening their bowling with spinners from both ends. He thought with the pitch having a tinge of green, a seamer would have been more effective.
“Afghanistan got it wrong from the starting as they started with the spinners. Usually, you can start with the spinners but in today’s game, there was grass on the wicket’s surface. I would say that seamers would have worked better in that situation,” Tendulkar added. (IANS)