T20 World Cup 2024 – Ind vs Pak – Rohit Sharma on Jasprit Bumrah – ‘He’s a genius with the ball’

Rohit Sharma was effusive in his praise for his bowlers after India successfully defended 119 – despite looking like they wouldn’t be able to at various points – against Pakistan on a New York pitch where “140 was a good score to fight”.

“We didn’t bat well enough,” Rohit said on the host broadcast after the game. “Halfway through, we were in a good position, 80 for 3 [81 for 3]. You expect guys to stitch partnerships, but we didn’t put enough partnerships there.

“I thought we fell 15-20 short. We spoke about how every run matters on a pitch like that. We were looking at 140, but I thought the bowlers can [do], and did, the job for us.”

Jasprit Bumrah cracked the game wide open for India in his third over, the 15th of the Pakistan chase. With Pakistan needing a straightforward 40 off 36, he beat Mohammad Rizwan’s swing to hit timber, and that was the twist in the tale.
Then, in the penultimate over, with Pakistan needing 21 off 12, he conceded just three while picking up the wicket of Iftikhar Ahmed to leave Arshdeep Singh with 18 to defend. Bumrah finished with figures of 4-0-14-3 to earn his second straight Player-of-the-Match award.

As for Pakistan, they went from 80 for 3 at the start of the 15th to 113 for 7 after 20 to fall six short.

“We felt we were a little under par,” Bumrah said. “When the sun came out, the wicket got a bit better. So we had to be disciplined with what we were trying to do. I tried to keep it simple, the wicket got better, and the swing was less. So I tried to hit the seam as much as I can. I just tried to be clear with my plan and focused on my execution.”

Rohit talked up India’s “never-say-die” attitude on a New York surface he felt was “good” compared to those in the earlier games. “With only 119 on the board, we wanted to make early inroads, which we didn’t,” he said. “Halfway through, I got everyone together. We said if things can happen to us, it can happen to them as well.”

“We need everyone to show up. Those little contributions make a huge difference. Whoever had the ball in hand wanted to make a contribution for the team”

Rohit Sharma

Bumrah aside, India also had key bowling contributions from Hardik Pandya (2 for 24), Arshdeep (1 for 31), Mohammed Siraj, who gave away 19 runs in four overs, and the spin twins – Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja – who conceded 1 for 21 in four overs between them.

Axar, in particular, bowled an excellent 16th over that went for just two runs, even though the match-up of bowling to Imad Wasim, a left-hand batter, could have worked against him.

“Absolutely! That’s what’s required in a tournament like this,” Rohit said of his bowlers. “We need everyone to show up. Those little contributions make a huge difference. Whoever had the ball in hand wanted to make a contribution for the team.

“Bumrah is going from strength to strength. We’ve seen him over the years what he can do, I’m not going to talk too much about him. We want him to be in that kind of mindset till the end of the World Cup. He’s a genius with the ball, we know that, but hats off to the other guys as well.”

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