ENG vs IND: At no point, we felt Hardik or Pant were panicking, says Rohit after India seal ODI series
- India defeated England by 5 wickets in the third ODI
- With that, India sealed the ODI series 2-1
- Pant scored his maiden ODI ton during India’s chase
India captain Rohit Sharma heaped praise on Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant after the duo helped the visitors win the decisive third ODI against England on Sunday.
Rohit said that "at no point" did the team feel that Hardik or Pant was panicking during India's chase that ended with five wickets and 7.5 overs remaining at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester.
Chasing England's target of 260, Pant scored his maiden ODI hundred and remained unbeaten on 125 off 113 balls. Pandya contributed with a crucial 71 off 55 balls.
Pant struck 16 fours in his knock, out of which six off the final seven deliveries he faced to end India's innings with 7.5 overs remaining. Earlier, Hardik contributed with the ball as well as he bagged four wickets and finished with figures of 4 for 24 in seven fours, which was his best bowling innings in the 50-over format for Team India.
At the post-match presentation, Rohit said that he was "very pleased" as India "wanted to achieve something as a group in white ball."
"We were here last time and were beaten, I remember that. It is not an easy place to come and win games. It was a good pitch, but we do understand it's not going to be easy if we lose wickets upfront. The positive side of it is 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 that they were panicking. They backed themselves and played cricketing shots," the Indian skipper added.
Although Yuzvendra Chahal was expensive, giving away 60 runs in 9.5 overs, the leg-spinner helped in wrapping up England's tailing, picking up the wickets of Reece Topley, Craig Overton, and David Wiley. "He's a critical member for us [Chahal]. He has got so much experience bowling in all formats. I'm pretty pleased with how he's come back after the World Cup. Hardik as well; one side boundary was long, he kept bowling the bouncers and got rewards for it," said Rohit.
On being asked if he was worried about India's ongoing top-order woes, Rohit said," Not really. To be honest, the wicket didn't have much. We played some not so good shots. Still back those guys to come out good. It was one of those series where top order did not come to the party.
I have got nothing more to say because I know the quality they bring to the team. 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. We have got some solid guys who will get their opportunity in West Indies," said Rohit, who scored 93 runs in three ODIs.
Rohit's opening partner, Shikhar Dhawan, scored 41 runs in three ODIs at an average of 20.50, while Virat Kohli, who missed the second game due to an injury, managed just 33 runs in two innings at an average of 16.50.
While England won the one-off Test against India and drew the series 2-2, the hosts ended up losing both the white-ball series. Rohit and Co will now head to the Caribbean for a three-match ODI series followed by five T20Is. Dhawan has been named India's captain for the 50-over format, while Rohit will return to the side for the T20Is.