Kolkata: India captain Rohit Sharma was pleased with the execution of plans in a high-pressure situation during their defence of 186 against the West Indies in the second T20I on Friday.
A century-run stand between Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell threatened to snatch the match away from India. But Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harshal Patel kept their calm to defend 29 runs off the last two overs to give India a narrow eight-run victory, thereby sealing the series as well.
“Always a fear when you are playing against these guys. In the end it was a phenomenal finish. We knew it would be a little tough. We were very well prepared. Under pressure, we executed all our plans. It was very critical given the point of time,” said Sharma in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Sharma was all praise for senior pacer Kumar, who gave away just four singles and took out Pooran in the match-defining 19th over. “It was very critical at that point when Bhuvneshwar bowled. That’s where experience comes into play. Bhuvi has been doing it for many years and we believe in him a lot.”
Sharma was also pleased with Virat Kohli’s fluent 52 in the first innings total of 186. “It was a very important innings from Virat. The way he started off, took the pressure of me as well. We didn’t start well in the first two overs, then he came in and started playing those shots which was very pleasing to the eye.”
Apart from Kohli’s 52, India had a blazing 76-run partnership from Rishabh Pant and Venkatesh Iyer which played a huge part in posting a challenging total. “Great finish from Pant and Iyer as well. Very happy to see how he (Iyer) has progressed. To see such maturity is very pleasing. He backs his skills and that is what every captain wants. In the end, he wanted to bowl one over as well. We need such characters in our team.”
Sharma signed off by saying that becoming better in batting and fielding will be a key ahead of the final match on Sunday. “We were a bit sloppy on the field. A little disappointed with that. The game would have been different had we taken those catches.”