Bridgetown (Barbados): With Team India pulling off the T20 World Cup triumph out of the blue, captain Rohit Sharma was an immensely satisfied man with his feet firmly on ground and head lifted skywards. “I think it was written,” he beamed after snatching a seven-run win from South African jaws in Saturday’s final at the Kensington Oval here.

The 37-year-old is a believer in destiny. “It is important. I think everything has to fall in place. We were way behind in the game. At one point, it seemed like they would win easily. My message to everyone was loud and clear, that the game is not over until the last ball is bowled. My job as captain is to make everyone believe that,” he smiled.

And it worked. Rohit went on to explain the things that fell in place. “Every time we had the ball in hand whether we got wickets or not, we wanted to keep fighting. Even though we were behind after 15 overs when they required just 30 runs from 5 overs, the belief was still there, which eventually helped us cross the line,” he said.

The turnarounds were many. “Hardik Pandya’s dismissal of Heinrich Klassen in the 17th over was very crucial from our point of view. And then, David Miller’s wicket on the first ball of the final over… that catch of Surya (Kumar Yadav) off Hardik was superb and very important,” he said.

“When (Jasprit) Bumrah came to bowl the 18th over, as much as we wanted a wicket, we wanted to build pressure as well with dot balls. We knew if we can keep stumps in play as much as possible, runs would be hard to come by and there was a chance to get a wicket too. And Bumrah got Marco (Jansen) there, which was also crucial for us. That was followed up greatly by Arshdeep (Singh) in the 19th over. It was also very nice to see Hardik being very calm while bowling the final over,” Rohit added.

“At the same time, you cannot forget what the batters did — Virat (Kohli) getting those runs (76) and Axar Patel (47) playing his part. When we started with the ball, Bumrah and Arshdeep were superb. I don’t know how much I can talk about Bumrah — whenever he has ball, he tends to create magic for us. I am very lucky to have players like these in my squad. I am really, really grateful,” he continued.

Greatest win

Rohit placed the latest T20 World Cup victory very high on his list. He won it as a player in 2007 and now as captain. “This has to be one of my greatest moments. I was desperate to win this. Winning games and trophies for India is what I look forward to all the time,” he said.

Asked to describe what was going through his mind as he sank to his knees at the end, Rohit did not reveal much. “I don’t want to say what I was thinking but it was a very emotional moment personally for me,” said Rohit, who was replaced as Mumbai Indians captain by Pandya in the recent IPL, which had drawn flak from many quarters.

One for the coach

The captain also termed the world title as a parting gift to coach Rahul Dravid, who has chosen to step down after his contract expired at the end of the tournament. “More than any one of us, I think he deserved that trophy. I think this was the only thing that was missing in his cabinet. I am very happy that we as a team could actually do this for him. He has done so much for Indian cricket in the past 20-25 years. He has worked hard with this team for three years during which he suppressed his instincts many times to match the wavelength of the boys. He understood what they wanted and put that up as a priority,” Rohit said.

“We were constantly talking to the players about the roles they would play. We thought if 11 of us play together, we could become a big force. Rahul supported me and the team a lot in that regard,” he added.

Always bat first

Rohit said his instinct at key matches is to always bat first. “I’m a believer of just having runs on the board in big games, that’s how my mind works. It is not necessary that everyone in the team thinks like that but I have a decision to make and I made it very clear that no matter how the pitch is we have to try and put runs on the board and then fight it out. We have the talent in our bowling line-up, I have seen what guys have done with the ball, so had the confidence that whatever score we have, we can try and defend it. That’s exactly what happened.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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