Sharma backed himself to be 'smart' with the bat in big India win

By Sports Desk June 24, 2024

Rohit Sharma says he was "backing himself" for a big game after inspiring India to the win over Australia that saw them into the T20 World Cup semi-finals on Monday.

Sharma became India's top scorer in T20Is, with his knock of 92 taking him to 4165, leapfrogging Virat Kohli's record of 4103.

After a strong batting performance, India smothered what looked like a spirited chase by Australia to win by 24 runs and set up a meeting with England in the next round.

Sharma admitted he was confident heading into the match and backed himself to outsmart Australia’s bowlers.

That's what I have to do at the top of the order, see what the bowlers are trying to do and play accordingly," Sharma said.

"There was a strong breeze and I needed to be smart. I was backing myself to do that.

"You've got to factor in the breeze and the bowlers are smart as well. They won't bowl into the wind, and you can't be one-dimensional.

"You have to access all sides of the field. It's been a good wicket and that's something you want to do as a batter, and you want to back yourself as a batter to play those shots.

"Getting the century didn't matter. I wanted to bat with the same tempo throughout and put the bowlers under pressure.

"You want to make big scores, yes. But you also want the bowlers to wonder where the next shot is going to come from."

Meanwhile, Australia's World Cup fate is now out of their own hands.

If Afghanistan beat Bangladesh in the later game, Australia will be knocked out, though even a big Bangladesh win would knock them out on net run rate.

"Yeah, it's so disappointing," Mitchell Marsh said. "We know we still have a chance to make the semis but today, India got the better of us.

"Over 40 overs there are a lot of small moments that you can think you could have done things better. But they got off to a flyer. Rohit Sharma is very hard to stop when he's in that mode. He deserves all the credit for that.

"We knew that if we kept up with 10 an over for as long as possible, we were in the game. But India have some class bowlers, and they were too good for us today.

"Come on Bangladesh!"

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