T20 World Cup 2024 – Ban vs Ind – Rohit Sharma on batting vs Bangladesh – That is how we want to play and go forward

Rohit Sharma is convinced that India’s batting approach against Bangladesh – of going hard from ball one – is “how we want to play”.

“I’ve been talking about that for a long time,” Rohit said after India’s 50-run win against Bangladesh, which kept them unbeaten in the T20 World Cup 2024 with a semi-final berth in sight. “It’s just about going there and putting it to work knowing what is expected out of us, what we need to do and how we need to play.

“Considering everything, we played really well. We adapted to the conditions. There are factors [like the wind] you need to take into account and be smart on how to choose those options. We were smart with the bat, and with the ball. Overall it was a great effort.”

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India made 196 after being put into bat, with Virat Kohli‘s 28 balls (for 37) the longest innings and Hardik Pandya‘s 50 not out (from 27 balls) the highest score. There was a sprightly cameo from Rishabh Pant (36 off 24), while Rohit scored an 11-ball 23 and Shivam Dube hit 34 in 24 balls.

“Look, all eight batters need to play their role, whatever it is,” Rohit said. “We saw only one guy get a fifty, but we still got 198 [196]. In T20s, I don’t believe you need to get fifties and hundreds. How you can put pressure on the opposition is what matters.

“All the batters were trying to do that from the word go. That’s how we want to play and encourage ourselves to go forward. Yes, you need to understand the conditions as well, but we have a lot of experience in the squad, and we back them to use that experience on the field.”

“Today was a perfect example of what he can do with the bat. He’s a very important player for us. If he can keep doing that, we will be in good positions”

Rohit Sharma on Hardik Pandya

Anil Kumble, the former India captain and head coach, called the approach “refreshing”.

“You want batters to come in and take on the bowlers,” Kumble said on ESPNcricinfo’s T20 TimeOut show. “This is a format where you can’t come in, sit back, and allow good bowlers to bowl their four overs.

“You need to show intent and take the bowlers on, so it was pleasing from a batting perspective. Yes, if you probably look at the way they got out, probably you’d expect them to continue. But, in this format, you want them to go hard. Even Rishabh Pant – he hit a six, four and was looking to go for a reverse sweep.”

Kumble also felt playing an extra batter at No. 8 [Ravindra Jadeja, who didn’t get a chance to bat] had empowered the top order. “Jadeja is eight. that gives you a bit more freedom for the batters to show the intent they’ve shown,” Kumble said. “And it’s not about one batter going deep and getting to 70-80. Yes, if it happens it happens, but I don’t think that’s the template India is looking to play.

“When you had one less batter earlier on, that was the kind of template where one batter batted through and the rest of them go there and play around one batter. There’s a role for an anchor then. Those things are gone now. You have a slightly longer batting line-up, which means you can show that intent from ball one.”

Hardik showed that intent as he came up with a second impactful batting performance in the competition. Two nights ago, his half-century stand with Suryakumar Yadav had steered India out of choppy waters after Rashid Khan had applied the skids on India. On Saturday, Hardik ensured India had momentum going into the break; the last five overs produced 62.

Hardik finished with four fours and three sixes, and he also somewhat made up for Dube’s early struggles during their 53-run partnership.

“I mentioned in the last game that his partnership with Surya [was crucial]. Him batting well the way he did puts us in a very good state,” Rohit said. “We want to finish off innings really well after the top five-six set the platform to finish the game.

“Hardik being Hardik, we know what he’s capable of. Today was a perfect example of what he can do with the bat. He’s a very important player for us. If he can keep doing that, we will be in good positions.”

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