India Needed Someone to Play Like Ben Stokes, Says Rohit Sharma

India Needed Someone to Play Like Ben Stokes, Says Rohit Sharma

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England survived to live for another day as they beat India by 31 runs in a high-scoring World Cup encounter. With this win, the hosts have kept their semi-final hopes alive and ended India’s unbeaten run in the ICC World Cup 2019.

Speaking to media after the match, India’s opening batsman Rohit Sharma answered reporters’ question on what possibly went wrong for India.

‘India Needed Something Like Ben Stokes’ Innings’

Rohit said that when chasing a score close to 340 runs, you need someone who could play that crucial knock of 70 runs off 30 or 40 balls.

“You know Hardik (Pandya) was looking good but he just couldn’t go on. That is something from their (England’s) side, Ben Stokes did for them. He came and batted and changed the game actually. We needed somebody... like Ben Stokes’ innings towards the end to get to that target.”
Rohit Sharma, Indian cricketer

Was Pant Batting at No 4 A Surprise for Rohit?

When asked if he was surprised to see Rishabh Pant at the number 4 position when an in-form Hardik Pandya or a much more experienced MS Dhoni would have been more adept for the role, Rohit gave a witty response after a brief pause.

“Not really because all you guys wanted Rishabh Pant to play, right? (Laughs) Right from India, you asked ‘where is Rishabh Pant?’ There he is at no 4. (Laughs) I think, for someone like him also to come and play he needs to spend some time in the middle and see what the pitch is doing, get used to the condition as quickly as possible.”
Rohit Sharma, Indian cricketer

On Dhoni and Kedar’s Slow Batting

When questioned about the inability of MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav to accelerate the run rate in slog overs and the inability to complete the chase, Rohit defended them saying that the pitch got really slow towards the end of the game.

“When Mahi and Kedar were batting they were trying to hit but they were not able to because of the slowness of the pitch. Towards the end it got pretty slow. And yes, you got to give credit to English team because they used the condition really well. They used the longer boundary well. They mixed the variations nicely and kept us guessing all through the game.”
Rohit Sharma, Indian cricketer

So What Went Wrong for India?

Rohit cited lack of good partnerships by India as the reason for their first loss in the tournament. He said that while England had three big partnerships, India managed to have only one.

“They (England) played better cricket than us I think. They had partnerships, not one but three. We just had one good partnership. We needed to have 2-3 partnerships of 70-80 runs. Then we would have been able to come close to the target. We need to think how to prepare ourselves if something like this happens next time.”
Rohit Sharma, Indian cricketer

(With inputs from AP and PTI)

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