‘Hardik Pandya was used in the 16th over’: Zaheer Khan’s shocking verdict on Rohit Sharma’s captaincy in WC T20

Zaheer Khan and Rohit Sharma

Former India cricketer Zaheer Khan praised Team India captain Rohit Sharma for his exceptional leadership in the 2024 T20 World Cup semi-final against England. He said the team captain was phenomenal with his pitching rotation.

Indian captain Rohit Sharma delivered on all counts in the semi-final against England. The opening batsman was on point with both his leadership and batting at the Providence Stadium in Guyana. The captain started from the front with the bat and led his team to a comprehensive victory.

Rohit Sharma played an innings of 57 runs and set the stage for the other batsmen as India posted a total of 171 runs on the board. However, after that, the way he rotated his bowlers was sensational as everything he touched turned to gold as the Indian bowlers were all over the England batsmen.

Rohit Sharma handled the spinners quite well and the players repaid his faith. The duo of Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav picked three wickets each as India bowled out England by just 101 runs to win the game by 68 runs and advance to the final of the T20 World Cup 2024.

Zaheer Khan was in awe of Rohit Sharma’s leadership against England. He claimed that the Indian captain has a very good grasp of the pulse of the game and pointed out how he has been using Axar Patel and Jasprit Bumrah in the 2024 T20 World Cup. Speaking on Cricbuzz, he explained:

“He’s phenomenal at that. You know, we’ve seen that over the years. He’s got the pulse. He gets the pulse of the game very well. And that’s something he did today as well. The fact that I mentioned earlier, Hardik was used straight away in the 16th over. So, he was smart to know that, well, on today’s pitch, the spin bowlers will come into play.

“So, we are going to look at the bowlers early in the game. Axar, he has been using him in the powerplay but his pattern up front has become a bit more aggressive than it has been so far. He used to hold Bumrah back maybe three overs into the powerplay. In this World Cup, he has been using him up front with the new ball for one over and then to finish the powerplay and then set up the game that way, which has become a big advantage.”

He has a good feel for the game: Zaheer Khan on Rohit Sharma

Zaheer Khan further claimed that Rohit Sharma was right with his ball changes in the match against England. He pointed out how the captain continued with the bowlers after the wickets started falling. He explained:

“And today as well, he knew that Jadeja was going to come into the game later on as well. And it’s also possible to bowl 10 or 12 overs of spin on this surface and create that pressure to get balls to zero. So he was right with all those changes. Wickets were falling so that just helped his thought process and he just went with that. But overall, he has a good feel for the game.”

Rohit Sharma-led India have reached the final of the T20 World Cup 2024. They will face South Africa in the summit clash on Saturday (June 29) at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.