Rohit Sharma spoke highly of the Indian superstar during the press conference following the announcement of India’s World Cup squad on Tuesday.
In India’s Asia Cup 2023 opener against Pakistan, the fiery pace bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi claimed the valuable wickets of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli within the initial seven overs of the high-profile match on Saturday.
As a result, Rohit’s Team India found themselves struggling at 66-4 after 14.1 overs, teetering on the brink of a potentially embarrassing batting collapse in Pallekele.
Rohit Sharma expressed admiration and compliments for the Indian superstar
Bouncing back from a difficult position at 66-4, Rohit Sharma’s team made an impressive recovery against Pakistan in the continental tournament, reaching 204-5.
In a moment of adversity, it was Hardik Pandya who stepped forward to rescue the Indian team. Teaming up with the in-form Ishan Kishan, the vice-captain played a pivotal role in helping India achieve a respectable total.
Pandya allowed young Kishan to express himself freely while playing the anchor role, enabling India to mount a comeback against their arch-rivals.
A day after India secured a spot in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup, the two-time world champions announced their squad for the World Cup, with Pandya being named as India’s vice-captain for the ICC event.
During a press conference, Rohit Sharma gave special recognition to his deputy, Pandya:
“Hardik’s performance will be vital.”
Rohit’s statement came after chief selector Ajit Agarkar revealed India’s 15-member World Cup squad:
“His form will be crucial to us. He’s a guy who does both the things (batting and bowling), and that’s important. In the last year or so he has come up with the bat and his bowling has been good too. That’s important for us”.
Kishan, who took KL Rahul’s place in India’s Asia Cup group stage team, maintained his position in the Indian World Cup squad.
Kishan played a significant innings of 82 against Pakistan, while vice-captain Pandya was the top scorer with 87 against Babar’s team during the Asia Cup.
Together, Pandya and Kishan contributed 138 runs for the fifth wicket as India reached a total of 266 in the rain-affected match.
“Ishan and Hardik stepped forward.”
“You saw the quality in the last game against Pakistan. Ishan and Hardik put their hands up and scored well. Obviously, with bowling too he’s great. He has bowled well in the last year and a half for us.”
“The way he batted in the last game showed that he has a very mature head on his shoulders. These are good signs for us,” The Indian captain mentioned that after the draw in their Asia Cup opener, they’ll face Pakistan again in the Super 4 stage on Sunday.