Batting great Sachin Tendulkar said that he was impressed with the way Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul went about their innings against Afghanistan on Wednesday (November 3). The duo put on 140 for the first wicket with Rohit top-scoring with a 47-ball 74, while Rahul hit 69 off just 48 deliveries.
This was India's first win in the T20 World Cup 2021, keeping their hopes of making it to the semi-final alive.
While praising Rohit and Rahul, Tendulkar felt that Afghanistan got their strategy wrong against them.
"Today's match was a big one for team India and we badly needed that. The way Rohit and Rahul batted was brilliant. Afghanistan got it wrong from the starting, as they started with the spinners. Usually, you can start with the spinners but in today's game, there was grass on the wicket's surface. I would say that seamers would have worked better in that situation," said Tendulkar in his Facebook video.
"The best thing I found about Rohit today is that the way he played the inside out to off-spinner Nabi. Rohit's experience helped him in this situation and he played some good shots, so as with KL Rahul, very calm and composed and even played some exquisite shots," he added.
Tendulkar was also pleased with the way the two openers ran between the wickets. "The running between the wickets of the opening pair was really impressive. Usually while scoring boundaries during the powerplay, the batters miss singles and doubles. But that was not the case today and the running was also equally aggressive," said Tendulkar.
He was impressed with the way their fast bowler Hamid Hassan operated initially. "I would give full marks to Hamid in the first six overs, he gave just six runs in two overs. When batters of the calibre of Rahul and Rohit are looking to hit the ball, giving only six runs requires a special effort.
"His plus point was he was bowling fast, straight and full up so when you are bowling full up getting the elevation right for the batter by going behind the ball becomes difficult. He was successful in bowling those good yorkers consistently.
"When their main bowler Rashid (Khan) came on to bowl, our batters put pressure on him by taking the singles and attacking him with fours and sixes.
"How many times do we see Rashid giving 36 runs in four overs without taking a wicket, that's very rare. That was only because India batted exceptionally well."
Coming off successive defeats at the hands of Pakistan and New Zealand, India kept alive their semifinals prospects with the mauling of Afghanistan. "All in all, a huge victory like this was needed for us, the way we played and finished the game was remarkable. Well done," Tendulkar signed off.
After India put on 210 on the board, the bowlers finished off the job helping them to a 66-run victory. Mohammed Shami, who was under the pump for his poor performances in the tournament so far, picked up three, while Ravichandran Ashwin, who played his first T20I in four years, chipped in with a couple.
India's two remaining matches are against Scotland (November 5) and Namibia (November 8). Both matches will be played in Dubai.
(With inputs from PTI)