Rajkot, India stand-in captain Rohit Sharma, who smashed a whirlwind 43-ball 85 in his 100th T20 international, said it was the conditions that helped him bat the way he did and the team wants to finish on a high by winning the three-match T20 series against Bangladesh after drawing level here on Thursday.
India lost the first T20 by seven wickets but rode Rohit’s heroics to win by eight wickets here.
Chasing a modest 154 for victory, Rohit looked in his imperious best from the get-go as he hit six fours and six sixes to take the tie away from the visitors single-handedly. He was looking good for his fifth T20 century but fell short in the end as he was caught by substitute Mohammad Mithun at deep midwicket off Aminul Islam in the 13th over.
“I always knew this is a good track to bat on and with dew coming in it will be difficult for the bowlers to grip the ball and we took maximum advantage of that.
“I knew the conditions were perfect and all I wanted to do was remain stationed and hit the ball. We want to finish well and there is a whole West Indies series coming up and not to forget the two Test matches as well,” Rohit said after the match.
Indian bowlers led by Yuzvendra Chahal (2/28) made an impressive comeback towards the back end of the innings to restrict Bangladesh to 153/6 in their must-win second T20 after they lost the first rubber.
“Both the spinners are very smart and they understand their bowling really well. They always have conversations with coach and the captain as how to improve. They played a lot of domestic cricket and (Washington) Sundar has been our new ball bowler and today I wanted to change it considering how big the ground is,” said Rohit who was adjudged man of the match.
The night belonged to Rohit. Leading from the front after missing a catch of Liton Das earlier in the day, the ace batsman, who became the second Indian from his country to play 100 T20I internationals, brought up his 18th T20 fifty off just 23 balls and then smashed Mosaddek Hossain for three back-to-back sixes in the 10th over to underline his ruthlessness. His innings was laced with six fours and six sixes.
Rohit never looked in any sort of discomfort as he milked the Bangladesh bowlers around. He hit the ball for sixes, and his fours were as elegant as you can get. Shikhr Dhawan could only applaud some of his shots from the other end as Rohit joined Shoaib Malik of Pakistan (111) and Indian women’s cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur (100) in becoming only the third cricketer to play 100 international matches in the shortest format of the game in style.
He walked off the ground after being dismissed to a rousing reception.