Rohit Sharma reflects on India’s bowling experiments at ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: ‘Exploring our potential’

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Virat Kohli took his first ODI wicket since 2014 and Rohit Sharma got his first since 2012 as India claimed a 160-run victory over Netherlands, extending their unbeaten streak to 9-0 in the ODI World Cup. Rohit mentioned that they went into the game with five bowlers and wanted to explore different options with the semi-finals looming. Jasprit Bumrah also had a chance to fine-tune his wide yorkers at the end.

India entered the tournament with Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur as their fifth and sixth bowling options, but Pandya’s injury caused them to change their team balance, opting for six specialist batters and five frontline bowlers. The part-timers getting wickets and the middle order’s performance with the bat has shown India’s bench strength ahead of the knockout stage.

Rahul Dravid, India’s coach, mentioned that they always intended to have six bowling options in their squad, with Pandya being crucial to that balance. Despite the setback, he was pleased with how the bowlers had performed and gave Kohli credit for taking a wicket after nine years.

The foundation for India’s win against Netherlands was built by their batters, particularly KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, who put up 410 runs for 4 wickets. Dravid praised the middle order, stating that it gave the team flexibility to try out different options in the chase.

Reflecting on India’s progress, Rohit was happy with their ability to produce match-winners in different conditions and situations against all oppositions. He also emphasized the importance of playing one game at a time and adapting to different venues and conditions.

India is now heading into their fourth straight ODI World Cup semi-final, with their recent attempts ending in disappointment at that stage. However, Dravid noted that they won’t be changing their approach or preparation despite the high stakes. He emphasized the importance of staying in the present moment and doing their best without any guarantees of winning.

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