ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Rohit Sharma up for Pakistan challenge after smashing Bangladesh
India captain Virat Kohli won an important toss at Edgbaston and showed no hesitancy in choosing to bowl first against the much-improved Bangladesh side. Indian bowlers did a fantastic job to pull things back in the middle overs to restrict Bangladesh for 264/7. Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim knitted a crucial 123-run stand but the other batsmen failed to provide support.
Whereas, the famed Indian batting line-up once again comes to the party and responded to the call in the crunch game. Highest run-getter of the tournament Shikhar Dhawan and ‘Hitman’ Rohit Sharma once again provided India with the perfect platform in the second semi-final in Birmingham.
Particularly, it was Rohit who continued his love affair against Bangladesh in ICC tournaments as he hit another magnificent hundred to take his team into the final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. This was Rohit’s second century against the neighbours, he also played a pivotal part in the quarterfinal of World Cup 2015 where India defeated Bangladesh comprehensively. Rohit played a crucial knock of 137 runs off 126 balls in that match.
In today’s game, Rohit along with skipper Kohli put up an unbeaten stand of 178 runs that helped India to finish the match with almost 10 overs to spare.
Both Rohit and Kohli matched each other for shot to shot during the chase and completely lit up Edgbaston with their attacking yet mesmerizing strokeplay. They both didn’t allow any Bangladesh bowler to really settle in and dictate the terms. Especially, it was Rohit who beautifully anchored the whole Indian innings with Kohli performing the more attacking role.
The Nagpur-born batsman scored 123* off 129 balls that included 15 boundaries and one huge maximum. Kohli also scored 96 not out off 78 balls, his innings was studded with 13 boundaries. For his magnanimous effort, Rohit has adjudged the Man of the Match.
Speaking after winning the award, Rohit was upbeat for the final against arch-rivals Pakistan. He was pleased with his own performance that helped India to register an important win.
“It was a great knock, especially when it comes on a winning note. Always memorable when you score a hundred and win the game. 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 mistake and getting out. 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," he said.
Rohit also spoke about the big final where India will face Pakistan in the title clash on 18th June at The Oval.
“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. He (Virat Kohli) was absolutely fluent; as soon as he walked in, it felt like he was batting overnight. That's the kind of form he is in. As a captain on the field, he was brilliant, manoeuvring the field and making the right bowling changes," he added