Sachin Tendulkar praised Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul for their performance against Afghanistan in the Group 2 match of the Super 12 stage of the ongoing ICC men’s T20 World Cup at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday.
The Men in Blue lit up Abu Dhabi with a stunning display of power-hitting to post 210/2 as Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul played innings of 74 and 69, respectively. And in reply, Afghanistan never looked like chasing it down, finishing on 144/7, still 66 runs short. “Today’s match was a big one for team India and we badly needed that. The way Rohit and Rahul batted was brilliant. Afghanistan got it wrong from the starting, as they started with the spinners. Usually, you can start with the spinners but in today’s game, there was grass on the wicket’s surface. I would say that seamers would have worked better in that situation,” said Tendulkar in his Facebook video.
“The best thing I found about Rohit today is that the way he played the inside out to off-spinner Nabi. Rohit’s experience helped him in this situation and he played some good shots, so as with KL Rahul, very calm and composed and even played some exquisite shots,” he added.
The former cricketer also lauded the opening duo for their running between the wickets during the match against Afghanistan.
“The running between the wickets of the opening pair was really impressive. Usually while scoring boundaries during the powerplay, the batters miss singles and doubles. But that was not the case today and the running was also equally aggressive,” said Tendulkar.
Mohammad Shami scalped three wickets while Ravichandran Ashwin took two. Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja returned with one wicket apiece for India.
Chasing 211, Afghanistan were 47/2 after the powerplay as they stared down the barrel of a heavy defeat. Indian bowlers clawed further deep as Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Gulbadin Naib were removed before halfway point of their chase.
Ravichandran Ashwin struck again as he clean bowled Najibullah Zadran in the 11th over. With runs in scarcity, Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan were sent back to the dressing room by Mohammad Shami in the penultimate over of the match. In the end, Afghanistan fell short 66 runs short of the target.