Men's ODI WC: We were under pressure but knew we could win if we remain calm, says Rohit after India beat NZ in semis
With Kane Williams and Daryl Mitchell leading the charge for New Zealand in the middle overs, India were under pressure in the ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2023 semifinal and it looked like the Black Caps would deny them just like they did in Manchester in 2019.-
With Kane Williams and Daryl Mitchell leading the charge for New Zealand in the middle overs, India were under pressure in the ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2023 semifinal and it looked like the Black Caps would deny them just like they did in Manchester in 2019.
But skipper Rohit Sharma said they stayed calm and followed their assigned roles as he knew any good score could be defended at the Wankhede if the players applied themselves.
India did just that with Mohammed Shami providing vital breakthroughs on his way to 7-57 in 9.5 overs as India, after posting a massive 397/4 on the back of Virat Kohli's 50th ODI century and Shreyas Iyer's second ton in a row, came back strongly to bowl out New Zealand for 237 in 48.5 overs and scripted a memorable 70-run victory and stormed into the final.
"I've played a lot of cricket here, any score on this ground, you can't relax. Got to get the job done quickly and stay at it,' Rohit Sharma said at the post-match presentation here on Wednesday.
Another thing that gave him hope was the way his team had defended 230 against England in Lucknow.
"England game we got 230 on the board, the way bowlers bowled with the new ball was amazing. Today obviously being the semifinal, won't say there was no pressure, whenever you play there's pressure," said Rohit.
He said there was extra pressure on the team because it was the semifinal, losing which would have ended their campaign.
"Semifinal adds a bit extra, we wanted to not think too much about it, just do what we've been doing like in the first nine games. Things came off for us nicely in the second half," said the 36-year-old.
The India skipper knew that pressure would be on them but said they remained calm even when New Zealand were going strong.
"We knew there would be pressure on us. We were very calm, even though we were a bit sloppy on the field. These things are bound to happen but glad we could get the job done," said Rohit.
Asked whether India would have felt the heat more if they had scored 30-40 runs fewer, Rohit said it was hard to say as Williamson and Mitchell would not taken the risks they eventually took.
"It's hard to say if we would've been in trouble. They wouldn't have taken those risks. Williamson and Mitchell batted brilliantly. Was important for us to stay calm," he added.
With the Black Caps dominating the middle overs, the packed crowd in Wankhede went silent but Rohit said they knew that they needed to just get one wicket to turn the match their way again.
"The crowd went silent, but we knew we needed a catch or run out. Shami was brilliant. The form all the guys are in, top five-six batters, whenever they've gotten an opportunity, they've made it count," he said.
Rohit praised his fellow Mumbaikar Shreyas Iyer for the way he has played in this tournament.
"Very pleased to see what Iyer has done for us in this tournament. (Shubman) Gill, the way he's batted for us has been brilliant. Unfortunately, he had to go off with cramps. (Virat) Kohli did what he does, also got to his landmark century as well,' he said.