• Friday, July 19, 2024

CRICKET

Rohit Sharma elated as India achieve first mission at World Cup 2023: Reaching last 4

India made their fourth successive World Cup semifinal after 2011, 2015 and 2019.

India captain Rohit Sharma (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

HE had missed the final of the 2011 World Cup at his home ground Mumbai but Rohit Sharma made up for the lost opportunity on Thursday (2) when he led India to hammer Sri Lanka to secure a place in the semi-finals of the 2023 edition of the marquee tournament.

Sharma, who failed to score runs in the match and got out in the second ball of the match scoring just four runs, was delighted with his side’s show and expressed satisfaction over accomplishing the first target which is reaching the semi-finals. The hosts, who have not lost a single match in the tournament so far, defeated the islanders by a massive margin of 302 runs after scoring 357 for 8 in 50 overs. A superlative performance by India’s fast bowlers decimated the Lankans during their chase and they were bundled for only 55.

“I am very happy that we have officially qualified now (for the semis). When we started off in Chennai, this was our goal – to qualify first for the semis and obviously in the final,” said Sharma during the post-match presentation.

“The way we approached these seven games, it was quite clinical. Everyone put in the effort and a lot of individuals have put their hand up.”

While complimenting his batters for helping India put a massive score on the board, the ace batter paid handsome encomiums to middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer, who produced a forceful 82 off 56 balls.

“That’s the kind of template you need to have when you want to score that many runs, and 350 on any pitch is a very good score and a lot of credit to the batting unit for taking us to that score.

“Shreyas is a very strong (in his mind) lad and he went there and did what he is exactly known for and that is what we expect from him. Shreyas showed that he is ready to take the challenge that is in front of him,” Sharma added.

India bowlers have supported their batters’ effort with some wonderful shows of their own in this tournament. The India captain was chuffed to see his bowlers dominating all comers in all conditions.

“Siraj is a quality bowler and if he does that with new ball things look different for us. He has got a lot of skills when he is operating with the new ball. “To put in a performance back-to-back against England and today (against SL), shows the quality of the seamers and if there is something in the conditions, they are quite lethal. I hope they continue the same way,” he added.

India’s next match is against South Africa and Rohit said his team is ready for the in-form Proteas.

“They (South Africa) are playing some good cricket, and so are we. It’s going to be a great spectacle for the people out there and people of Kolkata are going to enjoy that game,” he signed off.

(With PTI inputs)

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