Raipur : After registering a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over New Zealand in the second ODI here on Saturday, India skipper Rohit Sharma showered praise on the bowlers, saying they have delivered every time they were asked to live up to a particular challenge.
At the international debut of Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium, Indian bowlers, led by Mohammed Shami’s 3/18, were accurate in their bowling, fetched good swing, turn, bounce, and took sharp return catches in an impressive show to bowl out New Zealand for just 108.
Shami and Mohammed Siraj found seam movement to run through the New Zealand top and middle order, reducing them to 15/5 at one stage. Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar and Kuldeep Yadav were other wicket takers too while maintaining the pressure on the New Zealand batters.
“I thought these last five games, the bowlers have really stepped up. Whatever we have asked of them, they have delivered. Especially doing this in India. You can expect these performances away from India, but they have real skills,” said Rohit in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Though Rohit had a hilarious brain fade moment after winning the toss, his decision of bowling first was thoroughly justified by Shami and Siraj. “When we trained here yesterday in the night, it moved around, there was good carry.
Which is why we wanted that challenge: 250 would have been quite challenging,” he said. “Shami and Siraj did want to go on for longer spells, but I told them a big Test series is coming up (against Australia in February).
I had to step in and say, boss there are other bowlers as well,” he added. In chasing a paltry 109, Rohit smashed an eye-catchy 51 off 50 balls, hitting seven fours and two sixes, to lead the way for the total to be hunted down in 20.1 overs.
He stated that a huge score is around the corner for him, with his recent timing and aggressive route. “I am happy with my batting. I have kept my approach quite similar.
I try to take the bowlers on. It is important to do that: to try to get the pressure back. I know a big score hasn’t come, but I am happy with how I am going.
I know a big score is around the corner.” New Zealand captain Tom Latham credited Indian bowlers for bowling at the right areas and denying them the chance to build partnerships.
“Batting up top wasn’t our finest day. India bowled right areas for a long time and pretty much gave us nothing. Not an idea but full credit to India,” Latham said. “The surface did a little bit, a bit of tennis-ball bounce, some came through, some didn’t.
Unfortunately we were unable to build a partnership. Every time you want to put in a great performance but unfortunately we were unable to adapt quickly enough,” he added.
With an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, India will be aiming to make it 3-0 in the third and final ODI at Indore on Tuesday.