Manchester: In good spirits after a superlative century that helped India put it across arch-rivals Pakistan by 89 runs (D/L method) in their World Cup tie on Sunday, vice-captain Rohit Sharma was tongue-in-cheek when a Pakistan journalist asked him what would his advice be to the flagging team.
A Pakistan reporter asked Rohit what his advice would be as a colleague to the Pakistan batsmen, which according to the former was in crisis.
“Agar main Pakistan ka coach bana to bilkul bataunga, abhi kya bataunga (If I become the Pakistan coach, I will definitely tell, what can I say now),” Rohit smiled.
Batting first after Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss, India set them a target of 337 as Rohit hit a swashbuckling 113-ball 140. In reply, Pakistan reached 166/6 in 35 overs before rain caused a temporary halt to proceedings. On resumption, the revised target was 302 and they had to chase it down in 40 overs. Only managing to reach 212/6, Pakistan fell to their third defeat of the tournament.
Speaking after the game, Kohli praised both Rohit and chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav for their display. “Rohit’s knock was outstanding today. He again showed today why he is such a good ODI player. Kuldeep was brilliant. Those guys were only trying to play him out. A longer spell helped in that situation and he was getting into rhythm. They were thinking that he would go out of the attack sooner rather than later.
“That ball to dismiss Babar (Azam) was just outstanding with the drift, the turn and just beating the batsman batting so well. This is the best he has been bowling since coming to England and, him confident with Chahal, is going to be an important factor for us in the tournament,” he said.