Rohit Sharma praises Suryakumar-Virat for their partnership against Australia in final T20I
Hyderabad: Following his side's six-wicket win over Australia in the third T20I, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma said that it was nice to see top-level batsmanship from Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav under pressure.
Blistering knocks by Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav and a late cameo of 25* run off 16 balls by Hardik Pandya took India to a six-wicket win against Australia in the third and final game to seal the three-match T20I series 2-1 here at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Sunday. "When it comes to Suryakumar, we all know the quality he has. He can play shots all over the ground and that is what makes him special. He has been really consistent with the bat. Whenever he got an opportunity, he has played an impactful innings. Everytime, I see him, he has taken his game a notch higher. It is a good sign as a player. Today he was exceptional. We were two down in the powerplay. To come out and play like he played to take the game away from opposition was great," said Rohit during a post-match press conference.
"Not to forget Virat on the other end. He got a crucial partnership with Suryakumar. It was great for us to get that kind of batsmanship from those two guys. When you chase 180, it is not easy, especially after losing two wickets. But they kept their calm and backed themselves, playing their shots. Good to watch it from outside as well," he added.
The skipper also said that Harshal Patel is an important player for the side.
"I have been talking about how it is difficult for bowlers to come back from an injury. He missed cricket for close to two months. We have not really judged him on basis of his performances in these three games. We know his quality. He has bowled some tough overs for us in the past and for his franchise too. We believe in his quality. It is important to keep showing that faith. I am sure he is working on rectifying his mistakes. He is always working on his skills," he added.
Harshal struggled in the series after his return to the side after an injury. He was expensive in all the matches and could get only one wicket.
On Bhuvneshwar Kumar's recent struggles in death overs, the skipper said that it is important to give the pacer some space and he has had more good days than bad.
"Of late, he has not delivered as per expectations, but it can happen to anyone. It is not easy to bowl in death overs. We are working on some execution plans, we will give him more options to bowl at death. He will be as good as he was before. He is not short of confidence, it is still there. It is important how you come back after some bad games and we want him to do that as soon as possible," he added.
Questioned on choosing between wicketkeepers Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant, Rohit said that they will be used as per tactical match-ups and bowling line up during the upcoming series against South Africa but he wants them to get enough game time.
"I wanted to have both of these guys to have a number of games under their belt before the world cup. When we went to Asia Cup, both were in the fray to play all the games. We can bring in those guys if there is a tactical match-up or opportunity. Dinesh needs some more game time as well. So does Pant. Looking at this series, I had to stick up to that consistent batting lineup. We will have to see South Africa's bowling lineup to decide who will play. If the situation needs a left-hander, we will bring that or else we will stick with a right-hander. We will manage them carefully."
Heading into the world cup, Rohit said that the focus is more on bowling than batting since players like Bumrah, Harshal and Axar, who have not played a lot of cricket as of late are getting their chances right now and need time to settle.
Rohit expressed his satisfaction with the Men in Blue's performance in the series but said that there are still some areas where they can improve.
"We ticked a lot of boxes. But there are still some areas where we can improve. Overall, it was a good series for us and we learnt a lot," he added.
Coming to the third T20I against Australia, visitors Aussies posted 186/7 in their 20 overs. Cameron Green (52 off 21 balls) helped them get to an explosive start.
But following that, spinners Yuzvendra Chahal (1/22) and Axar Patel (3/33) helped the Men in Blue make a comeback, restricting Aussies' run flow and leaving them struggling at 117/6 in 13.5 overs.
Then a 68-run stand between Tim David (54) and Daniel Sams (28*) helped the visitors reach 186/7 in their 20 overs. Axar was India's star with the ball and continued his good run in the series. Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel also got one wicket each.
Chasing 187, Team India lost openers KL Rahul (1) and skipper Rohit Sharma (17) quickly, leaving them struggling at 2/30. Then Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav stitched a quickfire 104-run stand in 62 balls, with Yadav smashing Aussies all over the park and Virat anchoring the innings after scoring some quick runs in his first 20 balls.
Yadav's dismissal for 69 off 36 to Josh Hazlewood broke the stand. Following that, Virat brought up his half-century and looked to finish off the game, but was caught by skipper Aaron Finch on a Sams delivery for a well-made 63 off 48. Hardik Pandya (25* off 16 balls) finished the game for India with a four, with one ball to spare. Team India finished their innings at 187/4, winning the game by six wickets.
Sams (2/33) bowled well for the Aussies. Hazlewood and Pat Cummins also took a wicket each.
Suryakumar Yadav was adjudged as 'Man of the Match' for his fifty. (ANI)