T20 World Cup: India relying on smart batting to end trophy drought

A string of attacking cameos powered India to 196 for five against Bangladesh

By Reuters

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India's Hardik Pandya plays a shot during the match against Bangladesh. — AFP
India's Hardik Pandya plays a shot during the match against Bangladesh. — AFP

Published: Sun 23 Jun 2024, 4:16 PM

Last updated: Sun 23 Jun 2024, 4:18 PM

India have found their batting template for the T20 World Cup, skipper Rohit Sharma said after the team beat Bangladesh in Saturday's Super Eight contest to maintain their unbeaten record in the tournament and close in on a semifinal spot.

A string of attacking cameos powered India to 196 for five, their highest total in what has been a low-scoring tournament so far, in the Group 1 contest at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua.

Bangladesh managed 146-8 in reply and are on the brink of elimination after their second successive defeat in Group 1.

"I thought we played really well today, adapted to the conditions," Rohit said.

"There is the breeze here that you need to take into consideration, so you have got to be smart about that.

"Overall, we were clever with the bat and we used the conditions really well with the ball."

Hardik Pandya smashed an unbeaten fifty but Virat Kohli (37), Rishabh Pant (36), and Shivam Dube (34) also chipped in with breezy cameos.

"Only one player got fifty but we still got to 196," Rohit, who contributed 23, said.

"In T20, you don't need that many 50s or 100s. You can put pressure on the opposition in other ways. And all our batters tried to do that from the start.

"That's how we want to play going forward, of course while respecting the conditions too.

"We have a lot of experience in our squad and I back the players to make those decisions."

Pandya broke the Bangladesh opening stand with the ball and was adjudged player-of-the match.

"With Hardik in form, that puts us in very good stead going forward," Rohit said.

"He had a good platform and today he showed what he can do when he has that. He's a crucial player for us."

Meanwhile, Pandya, who was forced out of the game for a long time due to an injury he suffered during last year's ODI World Cup, credited head coach Rahul Dravid for his consistent performances with the Indian team since his return.

"I have been fortunate to play for the country, it was a freak injury I had, I wanted to come back but God had other plans," he said.

"I was talking to Rahul [Dravid] sir the other day, and he said: Luck comes to people who work hard and that has stuck with me for a long time."

The all-rounder is also pleased with the way the team has performed so far in this World Cup.

'We have played really good cricket. More than anything we have stuck together and executed our plans," he said.

"I did realise the batters wanted to use the breeze, I made sure I did not give them a chance where the wind was blowing, it was about being one step ahead.

"We as a group can get better in a lot of places, losing wickets in bunches is something we can rectify and get better at, apart from that, we are looking good."


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