Rohit Sharma says India were ‘not great with bat’ despite 100-run win over England

Rohit Sharma top-scored for India with 87

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India captain Rohit Sharma has confessed that his side was “not great with the bat” against England despite winning the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 game by 100 runs.

Team India lost two of their top three batsmen inside seven overs after being asked to bat first by England at Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium on Sunday. India lost Shubman Gill in the fourth over and the opening batter walked back with a score of nine runs off 13 balls.

One-down batsman Virat Kohli failed to go off the mark as he was dismissed for a duck after facing nine balls. It was Kohli’s first-ever duck in the 50-over World Cup. England pacer Chris Woakes, who dismissed Gill, also removed India’s middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer when India had just 40 runs on the board.

“We were not great with the bat today. Losing three wickets isn’t the ideal situation. When you are in a situation like that, all you are looking to do is create that long partnership, which we got,” said Sharma at the post-match presentation.

The half-centuries from Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, along with an important 39 from KL Rahul saw the Men in Blue reach a total of 229 runs that eventually turned out to be too big for Jos Buttler and Co.

Sharma heaped praise on India’s experienced players for stepping up during tough times as the hosts remained the only unbeaten side in the ongoing World Cup. But the Indian skipper also reflected on how the said players did not convert the starts they got into a big knock and admitted that India were short by at least 30 runs.

“A lot of character in the squad. When the times were tough, all our experienced players stood up at the right time and got the game for us. Looking at how the tournament has gone for us, batting second in the first five games, we had to come and bat here,” added Sharma.

“We were challenged upfront, they bowled pretty well upfront. For us to get to a total on a pitch that had something in it, we just wanted to get to a total where we could play with it. But couple of guys threw it at the end, including myself. All I was thinking was to be positive, the balls in my area I want to put it away, that’s how you put pressure back on the bowlers and the opposition as well.”

India have 12 points from six matches in World Cup 2023. They need just one more win from their remaining three group games to seal a place in the semi-final. Sharma and Co are scheduled to next take on Sri Lanka on 2 November at Wankhede stadium, Mumbai.

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