India captain Rohit Sharma on Wednesday said the team has prepared young Arshdeep Singh for death overs, something that worked for them in the absence of injured Jasprit Bumrah. According to the skipper, the choice was between Arshdeep and his senior pace colleague Mohammed Shami. The 23-year-old left-arm seamer delivered for India in the five-run win over Bangladesh in the T20 World Cup here, continuing his impressive run.
Needing 20 off the last over, Arshdeep showed ice-cool temperament despite Nurul Hasan hitting him for a six and a four and bowled a couple of perfect yorker length deliveries to seal the tie for India.
“Arshdeep, when he came into the scene, we asked him to do the death overs for us. With Bumrah not there, it was a tough job for someone to take up. For a young guy to come and do that kind of a job is not easy, we’ve prepared him,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“He’s been doing it for 8-9 months. I had to back someone who had been doing it regularly, it was a choice between Shami and Arshdeep.”
Having posted 184 for 6, courtesy Virat Kohli (64 not out off 44) and KL Rahul (50 off 32), Litton Das (60 off 27 balls) got Bangladesh off to a flyer before rain interrupted play.
Needing 151 in 16 overs as per the revised target after the brief spell of showers, Bangladesh managed 145 for 6 in the end.
“I was calm and nervous at the same time, but it was important to stay calm as a group to execute. Shortened games can go either way, but we held our nerves well after the game started, it was a good win in the end,” Rohit said.
Speaking about Kohli, who has been having a great tournament not long after enduing a prolonged lean patch, Rohit was full of praises.
“In my mind, Kohli was always there. It was just a matter of few innings here and there, and he hasn’t looked back since the Asia Cup. The guy has so much experience.” Regarding Rahul, who returned to form with a 32-ball 50, Rohit said, “The way KL batted as well, it was important for him and the team. We know what sort of a player he is at the top of the order.
“Some of the catches we took today was great to watch. When you’re playing in front of a big crowd it’s not easy. To take those catches, it shows the character of the guys. I have no doubts over our fielding abilities.” Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan rued that his team lost after again coming so close in an ICC tournament against India.
“It’s been the story when we play India. We’re almost there but don’t cross the line. It was a great game, the crowd enjoyed, both teams enjoyed, in the end someone has to win and someone has to lose,” Shakib said.
“Litton is batting really well, probably he’s our best batsman going around. We thought we could chase this down after that start. Our plan was to get India’s top order quickly, that’s why I bowled out Taskin (Ahmed), he’s been our main bowler.
“Unfortunately he couldn’t get wickets today, he was unlucky but it was a plan to get India’s top order out to dictate the game. We’re positive, we wanted to enjoy this World Cup, hopefully we can continue this,” he added.
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