Rohit Sharma tasted defeat as captain in the Asia Cup Super 4 stage against Pakistan on Sunday. Team India lost to Pakistan in the last over as it failed to defend a 181-run total. With pressure on India to win their next matches against Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, all eyes will be on how Rohit leads the side. Former Indian cricket team allrounder Irfan Pathan was impressed by Rohit’s bowling changes in the Super 4 match against Pakistan.
“A captain can be tested on two things specially how he handles the bowler, specially when the bowlers are new and when you are defending too. These two times you get to realise and I have seen time and again Rohit Sharma is a fantastic leader. He manages the bowlers really well, he knows when to play which bowler,” Irfan Pathan said on Star Sports.
“Made Bishnoi bowl an over during the power play, he had taken a wicket but he still kept him waiting, did not let him bowl another over and got him again after Chahal’s over as he knows Bishnoi is a different kind of bowler, not a typical leg spin bowler, doesn’t bowl side arm so it was difficult for Pakistan to read his bowling style that is why he had given just eight runs off his first two overs. Rohit Sharma manages the team very well and I hope that when the whole team is back, having Bumrah, Harshal Patel we’ll get to see a better performance from team India which we want to see specially if you see it from the lens of the World Cup.”
In the match on Sunday, chasing a tough target of 182, the ever-dependable Mohammed Rizwan (71 off 51 balls) anchored the Pakistan innings but it was left-handed batter Nawaz, known more for his orthodox left-arm spin, who played the decisive knock of the match.
His 42 off 20 balls was something that India didn’t factor in and there was no gameplan for him as Khushdil Shah and Iftikhar Ali completed a deserving victory with a ball to spare.
The Rizwan-Nawaz partnership of 73 in just 6.5 overs in the mid-stage of the innings had the Indians napping.
Yuzvendra Chahal (1/43 in 4 overs) and Hardik Pandya (1/44 in 4 overs), the two bowlers who were brilliant in the group stage match against Pakistan, were off-colour on the day as Nawaz took both of them to cleaners.
With PTI inputs
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