ICC Cricket World Cup: Rohit Sharma defends slow run-rate against England as Indian batting faces flak

Chasing a target of 338, India scored 28 in the first ten overs and managed just 39 runs off the final 31 deliveries. Rohit Sharma, however, gives credit to English bowlers.

ICC Cricket World Cup: Rohit Sharma defends slow run-rate against England as Indian batting faces flak ANI Photo

The manner in which India went about their chase against England's 337/7 at Birmingham on Sunday has led many to question the abilities of the batsmen in the team. While India lost the match by 31 runs, Rohit Sharma blamed a deteriorating pitch and some quality bowling from the opposition for the final outcome.

The Indian batting lineup looked a tad jaded in the match with only 28 runs coming in the first 10 overs of the chase. Rohit did eventually score 102 off 109 deliveries but many felt there was no real sense of urgency in the entire fight in the second half of the match. MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav, towards the end of the match, added just 39 off 31 balls to raise several eyebrows. For Rohit, however, it was the clever bowling from England that deserved credit. "You have to give credit to England’s team because they mixed up their variation nicely and kept us guessing all the way through the game," he was quoted as saying by the International Cricket Council after the match. "England team played complete cricket. They bowled really well. They batted really well. They got the result."

The Indian team had gone into the clash unbeaten in World Cup 2019 and despite the defeat in the match, remains at the second spot in the points table. The result, however, put England back in contention for the semis, adding to the troubles of Pakistan. There were many Pakistani fans who took to Twitter to allege that the Indian team lost deliberately to help England regain a place in the top four. Rohit, however, maintained that England played a game of high-quality cricket. "Losing wickets put you under pressure and we lost KL (Rahul) at the start. They bowled well so it is only natural the guys who are in form bat as long as possible," he said. "The bowers bowled well and we needed those guys to bat as long as possible. They were trying to hit the ball but at the end it got pretty slow."