ICC Champions Trophy: One last hurdle, big game against Pakistan - Rohit Sharma

After smashing an unbeaten 123 off 129 balls to guide India to a nine-wicket win over Bangladesh, Rohit Sharma has set his sights on the final where he will face Pakistan.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 15, 2017 23:32 IST
HT Correspondent
Champions Trophy 2017,India vs Bangladesh,ICC Champions Trophy
India's Rohit Sharma in action against Bangladesh during their ICC Champions Trophy encounter.(REUTERS)

Rohit Sharma, who smashed a magnificent century in India’s big win over Bangladesh at Edgbaston, feels the team is ready for the grand finale against Pakistan in the bid to become the first side to win the ICC Champions Trophy title thrice. (HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)

India rode on Rohit’s 11th ODI ton and skipper Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 96 to thrash Bangladesh by nine wickets in the second semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday. The bowlers too did a perfect job with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Kedar Jadhav taking two wickets apiece to restrict the Tigers to 264/7. (VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS)

Rohit feels the defending champions have all bases covered and will be at their best in the final against Pakistan at the Oval on Sunday.

“It was a great knock, especially when it comes on a winning note,” Rohit said immediately after the win. “It’s always memorable when you score a hundred and win the game. The last two games also I was trying to get a big one, unfortunately could not get through. After playing the initial few overs, it was all about you making a mistake and getting out.”

Imperious form

Rohit Sharma’s superb sequence of 91, 78, 12, 123* has played a big role in carrying India into the Champions Trophy final.

“I kept telling myself to bat as deep as possible. We have been playing some good cricket. Even our bowling, we have been bowling well. We have all bases covered. (We have) one last hurdle against Pakistan, we know it is going to be a big one. We will be up for it, but for now we will cherish this win.”

READ | India steamroll Bangladesh, set up ICC Champions Trophy final vs Pakistan

Virat Kohli was ecstatic, describing it as a ‘complete’ performance. He picked out part-time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav for special praise. Jadhav provided the crucial breakthroughs, removing the set Tamim Iqbal and Mushifqur Rahim that brought India back into the game.

“It was another complete game. We needed to have a clean, collective game,” he said.

“We didn’t expect to win by nine wickets, but that’s the quality of our top order. He’s not a surprise package (Jadhav), he’s a smart guy, he knows where to pitch the ball and see what the wicket is offering.”

Asked about his own batting, Kohli said the start given by Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma gave him the freedom to play his game.

Virat fastest to 8,000

The India skipper slammed 13 boundaries in his masterful knock and in the process overtook South Africa’s AB de Villiers to become the fastest to 8000 ODI runs, in 175 innings.

“I wanted to give myself some time, 10-15 balls. Last time, we lost a wicket, so I had to adapt, I like those challenges. I grew in confidence. When you’re coming on to the short ball, you know you’re playing well.”

READ | Rohit Sharma’s 100 deflates Bangladesh in ICC Champions Trophy semis

Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza was disappointed with his team’s batting. He said Bangladesh need to work on the mental aspect of the game, especially when it comes to big tournaments.

“We could have got to 300-320. Once Kedar came in, he restricted us by picking those two wickets. We have some players who are youngsters who could not go through in the tournament. We have some experienced players as well who would come in strongly next time. We need to be mentally strong. Skill-wise we are fine. Once you are playing a game like this, you need to be mentally strong.”

First Published: Jun 15, 2017 23:30 IST