By Amlan Chakraborty
AHMEDABAD, India (Reuters) – India captain Rohit Sharma heaped praise on his bowling unit after the team’s comprehensive seven-wicket win over arch-rivals Pakistan in a mouthwatering World Cup clash on Saturday.
At 155-2 in the 30th over, and with Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan looking set in the middle, Pakistan appeared to be heading towards a 300-plus total at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
The wheels, though, soon came off their innings and Pakistan were eventually bundled out for a paltry 191 in 42.5 overs.
It was a remarkable bowling display by India, with five of the six bowlers they deployed claiming two wickets apiece in a collective effort.
“There is no doubt about it that the bowlers set up the game for us again today. It was a great effort,” Rohit said after his blistering half-century set up India’s clinical chase.
“I don’t think it was a 190-run pitch.
“At one stage we were looking at 270-280 but they came back and showed grit and that says a lot about the guys.”
For India, Mohammed Siraj dismissed Babar (50) to trigger a collapse, fellow pacer Jasprit Bumrah foxed in-form Rizwan (49) with a slow off-cutter and left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav sent down a two-wicket over to wreck Pakistan.
“We pride ourselves on whoever gets the ball doing the job for us,” explained Rohit. “We have got six individuals who can do the job. It can’t be everybody’s every day.
“My job as a captain is important there to read the conditions and who is the best guy to trouble the batsman. I assess that every now and then.”
There was significant hype around the contest between the arch-rivals but India again prevailed to maintain their unbeaten record against Pakistan in the history of the tournament.
Rohit said they treated it like just another game in a long World Cup and maintaining that unbeaten streak was never on their minds.
“This was an opposition we wanted to play against because we want to play quality opposition.
“Every opposition we come up against in this tournament is quality and can beat you on any particular day.
“What has happened in the past or might happen in the future doesn’t matter too much. You have to play well on that particular day.”
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in Ahmedabad; editing by Ken Ferris)