Rohit Sharma on Lucknow stadium: The Indian captain rated the newly-built stadium as one of the best India have played at.
During the second T20I of the ongoing Windies’ tour of India at Lucknow, India beat Windies by 71 runs to gain an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series. Indian bowlers rose to the occasion after captain Rohit Sharma scored his fourth T20I century, becoming the first batsman ever to do so.
After opting to bat first, India scored 195-2 in their allotted quota of 20 overs. Leading from the front, Sharma scored 111* (61) with the help eight fours and seven sixes. It was a 123-run opening partnership between him and Shikhar Dhawan (43) which gave India an initial platform.
With bowling figures of 4-0-33-1, Fabian Allen was Windies’ pick of the bowlers. Although he remained wicket-less, Windies’ opening bowler in Oshane Thomas (4-1-27-0) had put on display a praiseworthy spell of fast bowling.
Losing wickets at regular intervals, Windies’ innings never really got going. As a result, they ended up scoring 124-9 in 20 overs. Darren Bravo, who came in to bat at No. 3, top-scored with 23 (18).
With bowling figures of 4-0-12-2, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the pick of the bowlers for India. Among the others in Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed and Kuldeep Yadav, each one of them picked up a couple of wickets each.
Not that a 196-run target was impossible to chase, it’s just that the Indian bowling line-up gave no chance whatsoever to the opposition. Impressed with the performance of his bowlers, Sharma praised both Bumrah and Ahmed.
Speaking during the post-match presentation ceremony, he was quoted, “Bumrah has been one of the premier bowlers for us. We use him different in T20Is then in ODIs. Khaleel is a different bowler with the new ball. It’s only helping the team when someone like Khaleel bowls in such a manner.”
Initially, the Indian opening duo faced some criticism regarding the slow run rate. Dhawan played 43 balls to score 41 runs with the help of three fours. Sharma defended his opening partner saying that it was a ploy to get used to the wicket.
Shikhar’s natural instinct is to put pressure on bowlers. We took the time initially and when he gets going it’s not easy. I think 120-plus partnership between us was very crucial.
“Like I said at the toss, not many games have been played here. We wanted to get used to the pitch, hence we took our time. Whenever you get an opportunity you do your best,” Sharma said.
The Indian captain was also pleased with the new stadium in Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow. “Everyone who came out to watch the game will go home with a smile. Glad that we won this game and this series as well. One of the best stadiums we’ve played at, the way the crowd supported, hope to get the same support in future,” Sharma concluded.
Read some of the latest Twitter reactions on the match below:
Clinical performance. Rohit Sharma ‘s sublime hitting a pleasure to warch always. A good Diwali eve for Cricket lovers. #IndvWI
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) November 6, 2018
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 6, 2018
— Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) November 6, 2018
Rohit Sharma is arguably the best limited overs batsman in the world. Another stunning 💯 #INDvWI
— Hemant (@hemantbuch) November 6, 2018