India skipper Rohit Sharma was all praise for his bowlers who have been consistent throughout the tournament. @ AFP
India skipper Rohit Sharma was all praise for his bowlers who have been consistent throughout the tournament. @ AFP

India’s stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma heaped praise on young pacer Jasprit Bumrah and his bowlers for their disciplined bowling effort during the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup on Sunday which India won by nine wickets. The Indian bowlers restricted Pakistan to 162 and 237 in two games while bowling out Bangladesh for 173. India thus have sealed a spot in the summit clash after romping to a nine-wicket win over Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

“Bumrah is a matured bowler now. He has played great amount of cricket and understands his bowling. I think that’s very important for any individual. Bumrah understands what field he needs to set and knows how to keep it tight. Bhuvi also did the same,” Rohit said.

“The entire bowling unit stuck to their task and hats off to them. Repeated performances are challenging in these conditions and I don’t want to take any credit away from bowlers,” added Rohit, who stitched a 210-run stand for the opening wicket with Shikhar Dhawan.

Rohit was also pleased with his strategy of including playing four spinners – Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja. “When Hardik Pandya got injured, the challenge was to field four spinners and we thought about a few combinations (3 seamers, 4 spinners) and in these conditions it is important to take the pace and not give much pace. For Jadeja, to come out and perform like that is amazing,” he said.

Rohit and Dhawan have now shared 13 opening partnerships. Rohit said that batting with the experienced southpaw becomes easy with both of them being clear about their roles. “With Shikhar, I don’t need to talk much. It’s important to let him be himself. We have batted enough to know each other to start off like that and we clearly know our roles. We always knew that the new batsman will find it difficult to keep going straightaway and Shikhar and I knew it.”

Talking about his own batting, Rohit explained how he has worked on his pull shots which have worked well for him during the tournament. “I have really worked hard on those kind of shots. When it comes off it really looks nice and I’ve gotten out a few times playing such shots. I back myself to play those shots. It’s important to put pressure on bowlers. They have one of the great bowling attacks. Taking nothing away from their bowling and they have troubled us in the past.”

Meanwhile, Dhawan credited his improvement in shot selection to Rohit. “Rohit is very good at converting those 50s into 100s and that’s something I’ve learnt from him. It’s good that we both value our wicket. When you play 20 overs on this track, it gets easy. The plan was not to lose wickets in the first 10 overs as you might not get runs easily early on,” Dhawan said.

“I wanted to be sensible with my shots. I’ve thrown it away in the past and I have learnt the lessons the hard way. That’s good for me and it’s nice to have that balance,” Dhawan said.