Captain Rohit Sharma on Sunday heaped praise on his bowlers for “showing their magic” in India’s 100-run win over England in a World Cup match here, saying “you don’t see that every day”. Pacers Jasprit Bumrah (3/32) and Mohammed Shami (4/22) bowled fiery opening spells before the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav (2/24) and Ravindra Jadeja (1/16) joined the party as India bowled out defending champions England for a paltry 129 in 34.5 overs.
Before that, Rohit struck 87 on a challenging pitch to help India post 229 for 9 after being put in to bat. “You don’t see that every day when you are defending such a total. Our seamers exploited the conditions very well, there was swing and lateral movement available (on the pitch),” Rohit said at the post-match presentation.
“We have got a good balance there. A couple of good spinners and seamers bringing in their experience. When you have a bowling line-up like that, it’s important that the batters give them something to work with, and show their magic,” he added when asked about the variety in his side’s bowling unit.
He said his players showed “a lot of character” and they, especially the experienced players, stood up at the right time. “This was a game where we showed a lot of character. All the experienced players stood up at the right time and won us the game.
“Looking at how the tournament has gone for us, batting second in the first five games and then we had to bat first here, we were challenged. We knew the pitch had something in it and we had the experience in our bowling, so we wanted to get to a decent total.”
Rohit, however, admitted that his side were found wanting during their batting innings and they were 30 runs short . “We were not great with the bat. Losing three wickets in the first powerplay isn’t the ideal situation. You have to then create a long partnership, which we did. But then we just lost wickets, including mine.
“Looking at the overall picture, I thought we were 30 runs short.” On his own batting, Rohit, who was named player of the match, said, “After the first 10 overs, it was important to stitch a partnership. You have to play the situation as well and not just play your shots.
“If you have that experience, you should use it. But I still thought we were 20-30 runs short. The new ball was a bit challenging and as the game went on, the ball got softer and it was not easy to rotate strike.”
A disappointed England captain Jos Buttler said his side did not execute their plans and admitted they failed with the willow. “Very disappointed. At the halfway stage, chasing 230, we would have fancied ourselves. Same old story. Very disappointed. I wasn’t sure about the dew, the gut failed said we should chase,” he said.
“I think whichever way you want to go, you have to be committed. It’s all about execution. It is. The answer is on a postcard, I think. It was a great start in the powerplay by the bowlers, the guys found some movement.
“The ground fielding was good. But the way we batted, we didn’t back that up.” The top seven teams after the league stage of this World Cup will join hosts Pakistan in the 2025 Champions Trophy. England are languishing at the bottom of the table. Asked about that, Buttler said, “Yeah, we are aware of that and there’s still lot to play for.”