Former England captain Nasser Hussain says the Rohit Sharma-led Indian team is showing “real intent” to win the ongoing World Cup after playing “timid cricket” in the T20 showpiece last year.
India made short work of Bangladesh in Pune on Thursday to maintain their winning run in the tournament, as the likes of skipper Rohit, Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill continued to sizzle with the bat.
Speaking to Star Sports, Hussain said Rohit has been the best in the business for a long time as far as limited-overs cricket was concerned.
“I have thought for a long time, he’s one of the best white-ball batters there has ever been. His record is up there with the best, he’s done it in World Cups.
“His record against Bangladesh is magnificent, his pull shot, at one stage we showed a graphic — he was averaging 400 in the pull shot in the last couple of years. He got out to it in the end but not before he had done a lot of damage.”
The exploits of the formidable trio of Rohit, Kohli and Gill was not lost on the former England cricketer.
“The most important thing I like is intent, there is real intent, for a while they played a bit of timid cricket in the T20 World Cup in Australia and they lost to England in Adelaide in that semi-final.
“This looks like a different top three, the way Rohit, Shubman and Virat are playing are going to put a lot of top order bowlers under pressure.”
Besides his batting, Rohit has also been praised for his captaincy in the showpiece with Hussain singling out his effective rotation of bowlers.
“Just the way when you lose a bowler, the way you have to think about bowlers are key moments in the games. Kuldeep was bowling really well, and he realised the way Siraj has come back with those cross-seam deliveries and then he went to Siraj, he got the wicket, and then he went back to Kuldeep, Jadeja and Bumrah.
“He just rotated his bowlers, and as Dinesh Karthik said on commentary, it wasn’t just the rotation, he was always rotating, looking to get a wicket. So, a bit like his batting where he has the attacking option, it’s the same with his captaincy.”
Hussain also lavished praise on Kohli after the maestro recorded his 48th ODI hundred in the seven-wicket win against Bangladesh.
“Kohli always plays the situation and that’s why he is brilliant in run chases. He sees the situation out there in front of him, he won’t be much off the strike rate anyway because he never takes up deliveries or chews up deliveries.
“On a pitch like this if you wanted to go into another gear, if he was chasing 350, Kohli would’ve gone into another gear, but he was just making sure India got over the line as he often does.”
- World Cup 2023
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