India captain Rohit Sharma was all praise for his bowling unit, which has consistently kept opposition teams on tight leash ensuring the side's smooth passage into the Asia Cup final. India have assured themselves a spot in the summit clash after winning two Super Four Games against Bangladesh and Pakistan respectively.
The Indian bowlers have restricted Pakistan to 162 and 237 in two games while bowling out Bangladesh for 173. "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 the bowlers," said Rohit, who was involved in a double hundred partnership with Shikhar Dhawan.
Rohit also hailed Jasprit Bumrah for his exceptional bowling performances in the ongoing tournament. "I think he's (Bumrah) matured as a bowler now, played a great amount of cricket and he understands his bowling. I think that's very very important for any individual; Bumrah understands what fields he needs to set and knows how to keep it tight. Bhuvi also did the same," the skipper said.
Rohit was also happy that the strategy of playing four spinners, including part-timer Kedar Jadhav, has clicked so far with Ravindra Jadeja's comeback adding a new dimension. "When Hardik got injured, the challenge was to field four spinners and we thought about a few combinations (3 seamers, 4 spinners). In these conditions, it is important to not give much pace. For Jadeja, to come out and perform like that is amazing."
Having shared thirteen 100-run opening partnerships, Rohit believes that batting with Dhawan has become easy as they are 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."
On his own batting, the skipper spoke about how he has worked on his pull shots which have worked well for him during this tournament. "Nothing is easy (talking about the pulls for six). I have really worked hard on those kinds 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 the opposition bowlers. Pakistan have one of the best bowling attacks. Taking nothing away from their bowling and they have troubled us in the past as well."
Dhawan said that he has become sensible in his shot selection of late, in white ball cricket.
Crediting his fellow opener for helping him convert the 50s into 100s, the batsman said: "...He's 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. I wanted to be sensible with my shots and 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,"
Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed rued a couple of dropped catches off Rohit Sharma, which cost his team dearly in the end.
"We made it tough for ourselves by dropping those catches. We were 20-25 runs short and could have possibly made things interesting by holding on to the catches. The wicket was a bit difficult to play on in the afternoon as the cracks had widened up."
7,000 ODI runs for Rohit Sharma!
— ICC (@ICC) September 23, 2018
"It wasn't easy for a new batsman walking in. Had we got early wickets, this chase would have certainly been difficult. We have been losing a lot of wickets in the early overs and hence it becomes difficult to recover from such situations."
The Pakistan captain was all praise for the Indian centurions.
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 23, 2018
"The way they batted, all credit to them. Rohit and Dhawan were exceptional. They have shown better skills as compared to us. We need to work a lot on the level of our skills if at all we want to get into the final. It's a do-or-die match against Bangladesh, hopefully, we'll come out on top."