India batsman Rohit Sharma, recently crashed 147 and stitched a record breaking 230-run stand with Kohli at Green Park, said India could not have won seven bilateral ODI series in a row without Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah.
On Sunday he showered praises on Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and said that they are the world’s best death bowlers. Bumrah bowled superbly in the last One-day International against New Zealand to stop the visitors at 331 for seven in response to India’s 337 for six. New Zealand, needing 30 off the last 18 balls with five wickets in hand, were on course for a famous series win before Bumrah dashed their hopes with a match-winning spell. Bhuvneshwar proved expensive in Kanpur, but such is his image that captain Kohli banked on him to bowl at the death and he didn’t disappoint his captain. In the previous series against Australia, their captain Steve Smith too had rated Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar among the best in the business.
India outplayed Australia 4-1 but was stretched to the limit by a spirited New Zealand, who eventually failed to win the big moments despite competing hard. Asked to compare the team’s performance in the series, Rohit said both the contests were equally tough.
The 30-year-old right-handed batsman said his side’s bowlers have delivered under pressure many times in the recent past.
“We knew that it was not going to be that easy because there was a lot of dew on the field. But our bowlers did exceptionally well to come back every now and then. Whenever they are put under pressure, they know how to come back.
“It’s not happened once, it has happened many times now. It’s a good thing for the team going forward. If you can respond to these situations really well and handle that situation really well, as a team you are only going to grow,” he said.
Like Bumrah, Rohit too rose to the occasion in a must win match after failing in the previous two matches. Rohit struck his 15th ODI hundred, his second in as many ODIs at this venue after the 150 he made against South Africa two years ago. Rohit was satisfied with his effort.
“I started off I started off very cautiously because I understand the threat of Time Southee and Trent Boult with the new ball. And once the shine of the ball was gone, it was about me not making mistakes and getting out.
“I have played here a few times now and I understand the nature of the wicket. So unless you make a mistake, you are not going to get out. And the most important thing about my batting was the partnership. Because once you get stuck in the partnership, it’s always difficult (for the bowlers),” said Rohit.
He revealed that he consulted assistant coach Sanjay Bangar after the failure in Mumbai and Pune.
“I did not make any mental change. There will be failures at times. It does not mean you need to change a whole lot. You need to focus on little things. I was trying to do that,” he added.