ODI WORLD CUP

 India eliminated New Zealand from the World Cup to advance to the final, Rohit Sharma remembers the “scary hours” that followed.

Rohit Sharma

In the semi-final matchup against New Zealand, India’s captain Rohit Sharma acknowledged that his team was under pressure despite leading his team to its fourth ICC World Cup final. In ICC events, Kane Williamson’s New Zealand team has long been the Men in Blue’s worst opponent. 2019 World Cup semi-finals, the Black Caps defeated the Asian heavyweights, capping India’s remarkable World Cup run.

Many people were afraid that after New Zealand reached 220-3 in 32 overs. They would break a billion hearts at the Wankhede by sending India through another agonising semi-final exit. But Mohammed Shami, an Indian pacer, ignited a comeback. Shami eventually taking seven wickets to clinch a historic victory for Rohit’s team. The speedster Shami finished with a 7-57 as New Zealand lost the semi-final by 70 runs after folding for 327 in 48.5 overs.

Local hero Rohit acknowledged that the World Cup hosts were a little careless on the field following India’s thrilling semi-final victory at the Wankhede. During the post-match presentation ceremony, Rohit talked to former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar about the terrifying moments when New Zealand batsmen Daryl Mitchell and Kane Williamson were able to hit at breakneck speed. Before speedster Shami dashed New Zealand’s hopes in Mumbai, Williamson (69) and Mitchell (134) stitched together the record third wicket partnership (181) for the Kiwis.

Rohit Sharma recalls ‘scary hours’

We knew there’d be pressure on us. We were calm even though we were a bit sloppy on the field. These things are bound to happen, glad that we could get the job done. When the scoring rate is above 9, you gotta take chances. They gave us chances, but we didn’t take them. Mitchell and Williamson batted brilliantly. We had to stay calm. The crowd went silent, that’s the nature of the game. We knew we had to pull something from our sleeves,” Rohit said.

We tried everything and Shami was brilliant. The top five-six batters, they have made it count. Very pleased with what Iyer has done in this tournament. Gill, the way he batted upfront was brilliant, unfortunately, he had to return back. Kohli, as usual, was brilliant, played his trademark innings and got to his landmark. All in all, the batting was superb. That’s the template we want to move with,” Rohit added.

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