Virat Kohli’s 101 off 121 balls helped India to their eighth consecutive win in the World Cup, defeating South Africa by 111 runs. Rohit Sharma praised Kohli’s innings, saying it suited the conditions and the match situation. He also praised Shreyas Iyer and Mohammed Shami for repaying the management’s faith in them.
Kohli’s 49th ODI century was a laborious one, but it was exactly what India needed on a slightly diffident Eden Gardens pitch. He anchored the Indian innings and helped them to post a total of 326 for five, which proved way over the par in the end.
Rohit Sharma was chuffed with the way Kohli, Iyer, and Shami performed in the match. He said that he would have kept his faith in them even if they did not come out with such performances.
“Even if the faith hadn’t been repaid (by Shreyas and Shami), I would have still stuck to them. We need to keep the trust. It can’t be done every day. For Shami to comeback the way he has, shows the mindset. The last two games have shown what Iyer is capable of,” he said.
Rohit Sharma also praised his opening partner Shubman Gill for their aggressive approach.
“Gill and myself have been batting together for a majority of time now. We let the instincts take over. We don’t pre-plan anything. We just assess and play accordingly,” he said.
Ravindra Jadeja too made a statement of his skills in the match. He made a quick 29 off 15 balls and then returned to pick up a five-wicket haul (5/33).
“Today was a classical case as to what Jadeja is for us. He came out at the death and scored vital runs. Then picked up wickets. He knows his role and knows the expectations from him.”
India’s win was their eighth in a row in the World Cup, but Rohit Sharma was quick to downplay the hype.
“Not to get too ahead of ourselves has been the talk in the dressing room. We have a couple of big games coming up. We don’t want to change anything.”
South Africa captain Temba Bavuma said his side failed to adapt to the conditions on the day.
“We know the challenge, know the narrative around us while chasing. Didn’t do it any justice today. When we talk about it as a batting group, gotta be honest,” he said. “The first ten overs with the ball made it a challenge. We did do quite well after that. Biggest challenge was taking wickets and India built big stands. The conditions are the biggest learning. “Wicket played as we suspected it to play – expected it to deteriorate but we didn’t adapt well. It will be up to us to adapt our skills accordingly,” he added.