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T20 World Cup 2024 – USA vs Ind – Rohit Sharma on Suryakumar Yadav – ‘He showed he’s got a different game as well’

Suryakumar Yadav‘s unbeaten 49-ball 50, which bailed India out from a precarious situation on a low-scoring New York surface against USA, wasn’t a typical 360-degree knock, but it impressed his captain.

“He showed he’s got a different game as well, that is what you expect from experienced players,” Rohit Sharma said on the official broadcast after India won their third straight game to enter the Super Eight stage. “To come out and bat differently if the situation demands, that is what Surya did. The partnership [67-run stand] with [Shivam] Dube was very important for us. In the end, to take us home was a great effort.

“We knew it was going to be a tough task scoring those many runs [111], but credit to us. At the end, we held our nerves, got that partnership as well. We lost wickets upfront but credit to Surya and Dube to show that maturity and take the game till the end.”

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Dube finished on 31 off 35, and though he did the job required off him, the scorecard won’t reveal his struggle to force the pace against cutters dug into the surface. Dube was on 5 off 14 balls at one point, but muscled a six off Corey Anderson in the 15th over just as USA were beginning to tighten the screws. Before that shot, India needed 44 from 35.

While Dube’s spin-hitting has made him a point of difference in the middle overs for Chennai Super Kings for two IPL seasons now, and led to his selection for the World Cup, he is also expected to chip in with the ball. On Wednesday, Rohit turned to Dube for an over. That went for 11. In a match where 221 runs were scored from 38.2 overs.

“I think that is something we want; we want options with us,” Rohit said when asked about Dube the allrounder. “As and when we feel like we can use them, we should be able to use them. Today, I thought we could use them, the pitch had something in it. But yeah, again, all I want is to have options moving forward.”

Rohit called the conditions “very tough” for batters, but lauded his bowlers, particularly Arshdeep Singh, for leading the way. Arshdeep struck twice in his first over – the first of the match – and finished with 4 for 9, his career-best figures in T20Is. Hardik Pandya also picked up two key wickets, of Aaron Jones and Anderson, with short deliveries.

“Last year, we saw them play in the MLC as well, they’re going from strength to strength, and I can hope for nothing but the best for them. They’re hard-working guys making their mark here in US”

Rohit Sharma on Saurabh Netravalkar and Harmeet Singh

“We knew bowlers had to take the lead,” Rohit said. “We knew run-scoring is difficult on this pitch. Again, all our bowlers did the job, particularly Arshdeep, the way he started off was magnificent. Playing cricket here wasn’t easy. It could’ve been anyone’s game.

“All three games we played, we had to stick in till the end and take the game as deep as possible. Lucky for us, we managed to pull through in all three games and [we] take a lot of confidence for a victory like this.”

Rohit also lauded USA’s Indian-origin players for their performance. Saurabh Netravalkar, the left-arm seamer, was his junior in the Mumbai circuit once upon a time, while Harmeet Singh, the left-arm spinner, went to the same school as him in the Mumbai suburb of Borivali.

“Lot of these guys, we’ve played cricket together,” Rohit said. “But I’m very happy to see them, their progress in cricket. Last year, we saw them play in the MLC [Major League Cricket] as well, they’re going from strength to strength, and I can hope for nothing but the best for them. They’re hard-working guys making their mark here in US.”


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