World Cup: Rohit hits 87 as India huff and puff to 229 vs England

- October 29, 2023
| By : Khurram Habib |

The India skipper looked the most comfortable of the India batsmen against England on a testing pitch

Rohit Sharma of India plays a shot as Jos Buttler of England keeps during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India 2023 between India and England on October 29 in Lucknow. (Photo: Getty Images)

An escape for Rohit Sharma through the Decision Review System (DRS) in the 16th over that left the crowd at the Ekana Cricket Stadium here in Lucknow roaring in joy after England had knocked down three early Indian wickets, was what allowed India to score in excess of 200 (229/9 in 50 overs) on a pitch that seemed double-paced and difficult to score off.

For Sharma, who was on 33 at the time of relief and went on to make 87 off 101 balls (10x4s, 3x6s), looked the only batsman at ease on the surface besides Suryakumar Yadav, who chipped in with 49 off 47 balls.

England, after winning the toss and putting India in to bat, began well through their pace bowlers by getting rid of Shubman Gill, bowled through the gate by Chris Woakes; Virat Kohli, caught at mid-off of the bowling of David Willey; and Shreyas Iyer, trapped again by a short ball off Willey.

With the umpire raising his finger at 51/3 to make it 51/4, it seemed that a quick end was near for India.

But the review against the leg-before decision gave Rohit some sort of confidence, and he cut the next ball with width for four.

Both he and KL Rahul (39 off 58 balls) brought up the fifty partnership and also India’s 100 in the 25th over.

The two played the spinners with ease, milking them.

However, England captain Jos Buttler brought David Willey into attack for his second spell in the 31st over and Rahul fell to a bout of impatience, trying to come down and lofting a length ball but getting caught at long-on.

Sharma and Yadav added 33 for the fifth wicket before Sharma, just 13 short of his century, mistimed a shot and was caught at deep mid-wicket.

From then on, it was up to Suryakumar Yadav, who kept the scoreboard ticking and farmed the strike for his 49 (4x4s, 1×6).

Jasprit Bumrah, who was dropped by Moeen Ali at long-off also, chipped in with 16 towards the end and importantly, helped add 25 for the eighth wicket with Suryakumar.