With the series tied 1-1, India beat England by five wickets in the deciding ODI on Sunday (July 17) at Old Trafford in Manchester. Bowling first after winning the toss, India restricted England to 259 as Hardik Pandya claimed 4 for 24. Pandya (71 off 55) and Rishabh Pant (125* off 113) then added 133 for the fifth wicket as India chased down 260 in 42.1 overs.
Speaking after the memorable win, Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony, “Very pleased. Came here, wanted to achieve something as a group in white ball. We were here last time and were beaten, I remember that. Not an easy place to come and win games.”
Reflecting on the win, Rohit praised Pandya and Pant for holding their nerves and guiding India after the early loss of wickets. He said, “It was a good pitch, but we do understand it's not going to be easy if we lose wickets upfront. Positive side of it, these guys haven't batted much in the middle overs. Today we got to see that with Hardik and Rishabh. At no point we felt they were panicking. They backed themselves and played cricketing shots.”
While India clinched the series with a memorable win, their top order woes continued as the Men in Blue crumbled to 38 for 3 in the chase. Admitting that the top three were not up to the mark, the 35-year-old said, “We played some not so good shots. Still back those guys to come out good. One of those series where the top order hasn't come to the party. Have got nothing more to say because I know the quality they bring to the team.”
Rohit stated that the team is looking to build a solid bench strength considering the amount of workload on players. He concluded, “We've got some solid guys sitting on the bench who've been waiting to get a game. Want to create that bench strength. Injuries are bound to happen, have to manage workload, so need to build bench strength. Have got some solid guys who will get their opportunity in the West Indies.”
India will play three ODIs in West Indies, which will be followed by a five-match T20I series.
–By A Cricket Correspondent