Birmingham, July 1 : Considered India's trump card in the middle overs, both Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav were taken to the cleaners by the English batsmen on Sunday in Birmingham. The duo though got the support of none other than vice-captain and centurion Rohit Sharma after India suffered their first loss of the World Cup.
Speaking to the media at the end of the game, Rohit said that it becomes difficult for the spinners when the opening bowlers fail to pick early wickets and the opposition batsmen have settled down.
"It's always challenging for the bowler, especially for the spinner, if you don't have any wickets down, and we know that they (Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow) like to put pressure on the bowlers.
"And when Kuldeep and Chahal came to bowl, they already got off to a decent start, and they didn't allow them to settle down, which was, I think, a tactical move from their side against our two spinners. But it was just an off day for these two guys. We have seen them bowl in tandem really well and put pressure on the batting unit, the opposition rather. So it's just one off day," he explained.
Rohit also praised Eoin Morgan's boys for playing quality cricket under pressure. "The England team, they played complete cricket. They bowled really well. They batted really well. They got the result," he said.
Chasing 338 was never going to be easy and the limited-overs deputy said that losing the wicket of K.L. Rahul early didn't help matters either. He also said that with the England bowlers doing a really good job, the idea was for Rohit and skipper Virat Kohli to bat deep.
"Losing wickets put you under pressure and we lost KL at the start. They bowled well so it is only natural the guys who are in form bat as long as possible," he said.
"Virat and I decided to put on a partnership. We took a long time, yes, but those were the conditions," he explained.
Commenting on M.S. Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav's efforts towards the end, Rohit said: "They were trying to hit the ball but at the end it got pretty slow. You have to give credit to England's team because they mixed up their variation nicely and kept us guessing all the way through the game," he said.
(Baidurjo Bhose can be contacted at email@example.com)