MANCHESTER: India captain Rohit Sharma acknowledged that there are “some solid guys” waiting in the wings, but said that his team would need to improve in white-ball cricket moving ahead.
Chasing 260 to win the series-deciding third ODI here on Sunday, India reached its target with five wickets in hand and 47 balls to spare, thanks to Rishabh Pant’s maiden century in the format and Hardik Pandya’s all-round heroics.
“We have got some solid guys sitting on the bench, who have been waiting to get a match. We want to create that bench strength [ahead of T20 World Cup in Australia later this year]. Injuries are bound to happen, we have to manage the workload. So, we need to build bench strength. We have got some solid guys who will get their opportunity in the [upcoming series in the] West Indies,” Rohit said at the postmatch presentation ceremony.
“We are very pleased [with the England series win]. We came here, we wanted to achieve something as a group in white-ball and we did that. Moving forward, there are things we need to improve but pleased with the effort,” he added.
The Old Trafford surface was a good track to bat on, but England could not capitalise. Even India’s top-order crumbled against leftarm seamer Reece Topley, but Pant and Hardik ensured the tourist emerged winner. Rohit was full of praise for the duo.
“It was a good pitch, but we did understand that it was not going to be easy if we lose wickets upfront. Positive side of it, these guys have not batted much in the middle overs. We got to see that with Hardik and Rishabh. At no point we felt that they were panicking. They backed themselves and played cricketing shots,” Rohit said, admitting that the top-order, which includes himself, got out to poor shots.
Meanwhile, Pant, who was named the ‘Man of the Match’ for his sublime 113-ball 125 not out, said: “Hopefully, I remember [this knock] for the rest of my life. I was focusing on one ball at a time when I was batting. When your team is under pressure and you bat like that .. it is something I aspire to do.”