Win over Netherlands was a near-perfect one for India: Rohit Sharma

Sydney: India captain Rohit Sharma was one pleased man after the thumping 56-run win over Netherlands in their Super 12 match of the Men’s T20 World Cup, calling the victory at Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday “a near-perfect win” despite having a slow start in first ten overs with the bat, where only four boundaries were hit.

“When you’re expected to win, the pressure is a lot more. This was a near-perfect game for us. Won’t say we were in a spot of bother at the start, the wicket was on the slower side and we couldn’t play our shots right at the start.”

“Yes, we played a little slow at the start but that was the conversation between me and Virat, we had to wait on that surface to play the big shots. With the ball, we were clinical,” said Rohit in the post-match presentation ceremony.

Half-centuries from Rohit (53), Virat Kohli (62 not out) and Suryakumar Yadav (51 not out) helped India post a challenging 179/2. In reply, the bowlers produced a top-class performance to restrict the Netherlands to 123/9, propelling India to go on top of Group 2 points table.

“I thought it was a clinical win. Looking at the way they have qualified for the Super 12s, credit to them. We however always looked to what we can do with ourselves, not bother about the opposition. To be honest, this was a near perfect win,” added Rohit.

Though Rohit made 53 off 35 balls, cutting loose after a scratchy start, he admitted to not being happy in his efforts with the bat. “Not too happy with my fifty, but what’s important is getting runs – doesn’t matter if they are good looking runs or ugly runs. At the end of the day, it is about keeping the confidence up.”

Rohit signed off by saying India will now move on to their next match, against South Africa at Perth on Sunday. “Luckily for us, we had a few days to get over that special win (over Pakistan in Melbourne). As soon as the game got over, we came to Sydney and regrouped. We have to move on now, and the focus was on this game where we wanted to come out and get those two points.”

Netherlands skipper Scott Edwards admitted that India getting a score as daunting at 179/2 had made things tricky for his batters to have a chance of chasing down. “The way those two batters (Suryakumar and Kohli) played in the end and took them to 180, it was always going to be tricky. We bowled reasonably well but if you don’t get the wickets and with the batting order they have, it was always going to be tough to restrict them.”

Edwards also relished the experience of playing in front of a noisy crowd of 36, 426 people. “Definitely the noisiest (atmosphere), some of the chants that were going around made it difficult to speak to the players sometimes, but it was an awesome experience.”

Edwards concluded by saying his side needs to be spot-on with their plans against big teams. “We came here to win and put on a good performance, but against these sort of sides you have to be on the money or they make you pay. It gets bigger and better, doesn’t it. Looking forward to it (the Pakistan game) and hopefully we can put up a better performance.”


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