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India

Rohit Sharma rates series-deciding win as 'one of the best comebacks' in T20Is for India

Ind v Ban, 3rd T20I, reaction

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Captain Rohit Sharma rated India's 30-run victory in the third and final T20I against Bangladesh in Nagpur as "one of the best comebacks in this format" for the team.

Going into the final T20I with the series levelled 1-1, India were sent in to bat, losing both openers early, but quick fifties from KL Rahul (52 from 35) and Shreyas Iyer (62 from 33) powered the hosts to a competitive 174/5 at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium on Sunday, 10 November. 

In reply, Bangladesh too got off to a similar start, losing Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar early, on consecutive balls to Deepak Chahar, who was India's star bowler, returning 6/7 from 3.2 overs – the best figures in men's T20I cricket. He also became the first Indian bowler to take a T20I hat-trick.

Bangladesh opener Mohammad Naim, who made 81 from 48, looked determined to take his side across the victory line, but Indian bowlers fought back to deny what could have been the visitors' first-ever T20I series win against India. 

India captain Rohit heaped praise on his bowlers, lauding them for their efforts despite the effects of heavy dew.

"It was the bowlers who won us the game," Rohit said. "I know how tough it was given the dew. But this must be one of the best comebacks in this format for India. It was easy for them at one stage, with 70 needed in eight overs. But the boys showed characters, took up the responsibility. Good to see young players putting their hands up."

Bangladesh lost their first two wickets inside three overs, but did not lose any in the next 10, with the Indian bowlers desperately looking for a breakthrough. At 110/2, the game was tilting slightly in Bangladesh's favour, with Naim and Mohammad Mithun at the crease.

Rohit later explained how he encouraged his bowlers at that juncture, helping them stage a stunning fightback, with the last eight Bangladesh wickets falling for just 34 runs.

"I can understand when wickets are not falling, it's hard to pick ourselves up," Rohit observed. "I just had to remind what team they're playing for, credit to the bowlers. Also to the batsmen – the way Rahul and Iyer played, that was magnificent. That is what we want from the team – individuals taking responsibility."

With youngsters like Iyer, Chahar and Shivam Dube contributing with match-winning performances, Rohit added that his team would look to find the right balance for next year's ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Australia. 

"Until we get close to the World Cup, we got to find the right balance," Rohit said. "There are a few guys missing, but they'll come back. Keeping everything in mind, we have few games in mind before we get into that flight to Australia. If we keep performing like we did today, it's going to be a big headache for Virat [Kohli] and the selectors."

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