Rohit told DK after that semi-final defeat 'we've got to change': Hussain on India's transition into a dominant force
India's transition into this bull-run began last year, reckons Nasser Hussain.
Nasser Hussain was there, exactly a year ago in Adelaide, where England blew India away by 10 wickets in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup. After Jason Roy and Jos Buttler chased down 170 comprehensively, a crestfallen Rohit Sharma struggled to hold back tears in the dugout. But something changed inside that man after the night got over. Instead of dwelling over the uncontrollable, he took upon himself to trigger a change that has today landed India in the final of the 2023 World Cup. Rohit had had enough of the same boring and outdated template of batting, the conventional take your time to get set and then play shots approach, and decided to lead by example
The result is a solid tally of 550 runs from 10 games at an average of 55. But more importantly, Rohit's strike-rate of 124.15 is the highest among the top-10 leading run-scorers. With one century and three fifties, Rohit may be placed fifth behind the likes of Virat Kohli, Quinton de Kock and the New Zealand duo of Rachin Ravindra and Daryl Mitchell, but it is his fearless batting at the top that has time and again set the tone for India. Wednesday's semi-final was another example as Rohit blasted 47 off 29 balls. It allowed Kohli, the anchor, to play himself in and then explode. The approach is working wonders, and if Rohit can do it one more time this Sunday against Australia, India's chances of winning the World Cup can shoot up exponentially.
Rohit has earned a plethora of massive praises from the who's who of cricketing greats, including former England captain Hussain, who reckons the India captain is the real hero behind their success for making the transition that was much-needed in this team filled with talented cricketers.
"We have DK with us. We were all there for that semifinal where they played meek, timid cricket, prodded along in the T20 World Cup semifinal, got a below par score and England knocked them off none down, won by 10 wickets. He said to DK 'We're going to have to change'. It's one thing doing that; and another thing walking to walk," he told host broadcasters after India defeated New Zealand by 70 runs at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.
New Zealand was a true litmus test for Rohit and India, who in the past, struggled to go past the BlackCaps in ICC knockout games. But Rohit himself changed the narrative, leading India's charge with another quickfire innings, including four boundaries and four sixes. He did not allow the pressure of a semi-final get to him and stuck to doing what he's been doing best and with so much effectiveness.
"The real hero today was Rohit. It's the first time they have been tested. Group stage, as he will know, is one thing, but knockout games are all about can you do it again? Can you play fearless cricket? The skipper went out there and showed everyone, this dressing room 'We're going to carry on exactly the same way," added Hussain.
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