Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma is a 'fantastic leader,' manages bowlers well - Irfan Pathan
- India lost to Pakistan by 5 wickets on Sunday
- Indian bowlers failed to defend a target of 182
- Nawaz and Rizwan played match-winning knocks for Pakistan
Former India pacer Irfan Pathan has praised Rohit Sharma, calling him a "fantastic leader," who manages the bowlers well.
Pathan backed Rohit's tactics in India's five-wicket defeat to Pakistan on Sunday in the ongoing Asia Cup.
Rohit's strategy in the Super Four game was questioned after the Indian bowlers failed to defend their 182-run target. However, Pathan said that he was impressed with how Rohit rotated the bowlers and used the spinners at the right moments.
"A captain can be tested on two things, especially how he handles the bowler, especially when the bowlers are new and when you are defending too. These two times you get to realise and I have seen time and again Rohit Sharma is a fantastic leader. He manages the bowlers really well, he knows when to play which bowler," Pathan said while speaking on Star Sports show 'Follow the Blues'.
During the second innings, Indian leg spinner Ravi Bishnoi dismissed Pakistan skipper Babar Azam in his first over. Babar tried to play towards midwicket before giving a straight catch to Rohit. However, following that Mohammad Nawaz, who was promoted to bat at No. 4, and Mohammad Rizwan brought their side's chase back on track.
The two built a match-winning stand of 73 runs for the third wicket before Indian fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar remove Nawaz for 42 off 20 balls. Hardik Pandya then removed Rizwan (71 off 51), bringing in two new batters, but it didn't put off Pakistan's plan as the damage was already done.
"Made Bishnoi bowl an over during the power play, he had taken a wicket but he still kept him waiting, did not let him bowl another over and got him again after Chahal's over as he knows Bishnoi is a different kind of bowler, not a typical leg spin bowler, doesn't bowl side arm so it was difficult for Pakistan to read his bowling style that is why he had given just 8 runs off his first two overs," added Pathan.
India are currently without the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel. Pathan went on to say that he believes when the whole team gets back, everyone will see a better performance from the Men in Blue.
In Bumrah and Harshal's absence, India named Bhuvneshwar, Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan as pacer bowlers for the Asia Cup.
"Rohit Sharma manages the team very well and I hope that when the whole team is back, having Bumrah, and Harshal Patel we'll get to see a better performance from team India which we want to see especially if you see it from the lens of the World Cup," Pathan said.
The T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place in Australia in October-November.