Rohit: 'We were calm even though we were a bit sloppy on the field'

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India has finished ten out of ten in the World Cup. They have been clinical virtually all the time, dominating with bat and ball, but that was not the case on Wednesday in Mumbai in the semi-final against New Zealand, even if the margin of victory (70 runs) sounds quite complete. Captain Rohit Sharma acknowledged that it was one of the toughest matches India played in this World Cup, adding that his team had to “stay calm” and remove the “semi-final from the equation” to stay in the game and achieve a victory.

“The way our players came and bowled forward with the new ball, getting those wickets… when you have a goal [India scored 397] So, you have to take wickets in advance. And we did exactly that,” Rohit said on Star Sports after the match. “Today, being the semi-finals, I wouldn’t say there was no pressure. Whenever you play, there is always pressure and obviously the semi-final adds a bit more. But I think the guys were doing the job.

“To be honest, we wanted to take that semifinal out of the equation, not think about it too much. We just wanted to keep doing what we’ve been doing the first nine games we played, and things came.” “We also did very well in the second half.”

Despite their big total, India were pressured by Daryl Mitchell and Kane Williamson, who put together 181 runs off 149 balls in their third-wicket partnership, silencing the Wankhede crowd in the process, with Mitchell contributing a hundred off 85 balls. and Williamson a determined half-century.

“I’ve played a lot of cricket here. [at the Wankhede]. So I know that any result in this area… you can’t relax, you have to get the job done as quickly as possible and stay at it. We knew there would be pressure on us and that at some point there would be a partnership. “We just have to stay composed and I think that’s what we did.”

Rohit Sharma

India also bowled Williamson (Mohammed Shami bowled a sitter at mid-on) and also missed a run-out chance when the two were batting together. At that point, New Zealand was in control of the chase. But Shami, who had picked the first two wickets, returned in the 33rd over to make the breakthrough with Williamson’s wicket.

“When the scoring rate is above nine all the time, you have to keep taking advantage of the opportunities,” Rohit said. “Sometimes it goes well and sometimes it doesn’t. They gave us opportunities but we didn’t take them. But the credit also goes to them in the middle, Mitchell and Williamson batted brilliantly.

“Once again, it was important for us to stay calm. At one point, the crowd went absolutely silent, that’s the nature of the game. But we knew we had to pull something out of our sleeve and we needed a magic, whether it was a a good catch or an exit or maybe a magical delivery. But we tried everything we couldn’t [break through]but again, Shami was brilliant.

“I’ve played a lot of cricket here. [at the Wankhede]. So I know that any result in this area… you can’t relax, you have to get the job done as quickly as possible and stay at it. We knew there would be pressure on us and that at some point there would be a partnership. We just have to stay composed and I think that’s what we did. We were calm even though we were a little careless on the field. But that can happen. We have nine perfect games on the field. So these things will surely happen. But I’m glad we were able to get the job done in the end.”

Wankhede are known for being batting friendly and did not play any differently on the day.

India got off to a cheerful start, with Rohit and Shubman Gill putting up an opening stand of 75 runs off just 50 balls. Kohli recorded his record 50 ODI centuries and Shreyas Iyer scored a century of his own, hitting 105 off just 70 balls. India plundered 110 runs in the last ten overs to reach their third 350-plus total of the tournament.

“The batsmen in the top five and six, whenever they got an opportunity, they took advantage of it,” Rohit said. “I’m very, very happy to see what Iyer has done for us in this tournament. Gill, the way he batted up front was brilliant. Unfortunately, he started cramping so we had to bring him back.

“Kohli was brilliant as always, played his trademark innings and also reached that historic milestone. All in all, the batting was excellent, and that is the kind of squad we want to bat with and move forward.”