After a decisive 70-run victory against New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final, Rohit Sharma, the captain of the Indian cricket team, acknowledged that his team displayed some lapses in the field. The triumph places India on the brink of making history, needing just one more win in the ODI World Cup 2023 final led by Rohit Sharma.
Should India emerge victorious on Sunday, it would mark their third ODI Cricket World Cup title. Sharma praised Daryl Mitchell and Kane Williamson for their impressive 181-run partnership, while Mohammed Shami’s seven-wicket performance and Virat Kohli’s record 50th ODI century stood out in the 70-run win at Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.
Rohit Sharma exclusively made a statement post match: “I have played a lot of cricket here, any score on this ground, you cannot relax. Got to get the job done quickly and stay at it. We knew there would be pressure on us. We were very calm, even though we were a bit sloppy on the field. These things are bound to happen (the partnership between Mitchell and Kane) but glad we could get the job done,
He continued, “It is hard to say if we would have been in trouble [had India scored 30-40 less]. They would not have taken those risks. Williamson and Mitchell batted brilliantly. Was important for us to stay calm. The crowd went silent, but we knew we needed a catch or run out. Shami was brilliant. The form all the guys are in, top five-six batters, whenever they have gotten an opportunity, they have made it count. Very pleased to see what Iyer has done for us this tournament. Gill, the way he has batted for us has been brilliant. Unfortunately, he had to go off with cramps.”
“Kohli did what he does, also got to his landmark century as well. England game we got 230 on the board, way bowlers bowled with the new ball was amazing. Today obviously being the semifinal, would not say there was no pressure, whenever you play there is pressure. Semifinal adds a bit extra, we wanted to not think too much about it, just do what we’ve been doing like in the first nine games. Things came off for us nicely in the second half,” Rohit Sharma concluded.
In the earlier part of the day, India chose to bat first, amassing a formidable total of 397/4 in their allotted 50 overs. Captain Rohit Sharma (47 runs in 29 balls, including four boundaries and four sixes) and Shubman Gill (80 runs in 66 balls, featuring eight fours and three sixes) provided a strong start with a 71-run opening partnership.
Virat Kohli (117 runs in 113 balls, comprising nine fours and two sixes) achieved his 50th ODI century, while Shreyas Iyer (105 runs in 70 balls, with four boundaries and eight sixes) marked his second consecutive World Cup century, contributing to India’s commanding total. KL Rahul added a quick 39 runs in a 20-ball cameo, featuring five fours and two sixes. Tim Southee (3/100) performed well as the standout bowler for the Kiwis, with Trent Boult (1/86) also claiming a wicket.
In pursuit of 398, New Zealand faced the early loss of two wickets. However, a noteworthy 181-run partnership between Daryl Mitchell (134 runs in 119 balls, including nine fours and six sixes) and captain Kane Williamson (69 runs in 73 balls, with eight fours and a six) kept the Kiwis in the game, testing the Indian bowlers. Glenn Phillips contributed a valuable 41 runs.
Yet, a pivotal two-wicket over by Shami shifted the momentum, and the Indian bowlers performed exceptionally in the death overs, limiting New Zealand to 327 in 48.5 overs. Apart from Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Siraj each secured a wicket. Shami was rightfully awarded the ‘Player of the Match’ for his outstanding performance.