Hamilton, Jan 29: Rohit Sharma was adjudged the man of the match for his batting exploits against New Zealand in third T20I played at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Wednesday (January 29) but the stylish opener credited pacer Mohammed Shami for India's victory in the game that went for the Super Over.
With just eight runs to defend from the final over, Shami bowled exceptionally well as he picked up two wickets and forced the match go into the Super Over, giving his team a chance to win the game which was dominated by the Black Caps in the latter half.
Despite getting hit for a maximum on the first ball of the 20th over, Shami came back strongly and got rid of Kane Williamson (95), troubled the new-man-in Tim Seifert, and cleaned up Ross Taylor on the final ball of the innings.
Rohit, who smashed two sixes in the Super Over to guide India to a famous win, while interacting with the media persons, said it was the Bengal pacer's last over that got them the victory and not his two maximums.
"At one point it looked like they can easily win the game, but I think Shami's last over was crucial. That actually got us the victory, not my two sixes. It was Shami's over where we defended eight runs. It's not easy with the dew, the wickets settling in nicely and two set batsmen batting there as well. One batsman (Williamson) was batting on 95 and the other one (Taylor) their most experienced batsman. So hats off to Shami to bowl that over and get us back into the game to take us in the Super Over," said a modest Rohit.
The Mumbaikar also took to his Twitter handle to commend Shami's effort with the ball and lauded Williamson's valiant effort.
"Seriously, what a game! @MdShami11 's over won us the game. Valiant effort from Williamson though," tweeted the India opener.
Seriously, what a game! @MdShami11 ‘s over won us the game. Valiant effort from Williamson though.— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) January 29, 2020
Rohit, who leads Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, also revealed that he was caught unaware about the Super Over scenario and it took him five minutes to "find" his abdomen guard after the game had ended in a tie.
The India vice-captain said the team had almost given up with New Zealand going great guns at one point.
"Everything was packed. All my stuff was inside my bag. I had to get it out. It literally took me five minutes to find my abdomen guard because I didn't know where it was," the 32-year-old said.
"I mean we never thought it would go to the Super Over, the way they were batting at one point. It looked like they could easily win the game," he added.
Rohit said there is no training possible for Super Over eventualities. In fact, the Indian team wasn't aware of the Super Over and came to know only after the match had finished in a tie. Rohit said there is no training possible for Super Over eventualities. In fact, the Indian team wasn't aware of the Super Over and was made aware of the situation only after the match had finished in a tie.
"I don't know if you can train for a Super Over. We've got a T20 specialist in Bumrah. For him, Super Over or whether he bowls in a T20 match is the same for him. There's no training required there for him. "But for the batters, you generally see who's in good nick on that particular day and you assess and try and get that guy to bat. Probably if I hadn't got the 60 today, probably it wouldn't have been me going to face the Super Over. It could have been Shreyas Iyer or someone else."
Considering their current form, both Rohit and KL Rahul was the best bet for India in the Super Over.
"Super Over you can't really plan what to do. You have to assess what's happened on that day. And you send your best players. Bumrah has been one of the key players in terms of our bowling. There was no choice but there was a little confusion whether to go with Shami or maybe Jadeja because the ball was gripping.
"But in the end you have to go with someone who's been consistent with bowling yorkers and slower balls and things like that. We went with that and the batters as well, someone who's had a good day will try and go out to face the challenge," he said.
Talking about the moment when he hit those successive Super Over sixes, Rohit said it is always the bowler who is in pressure in such situations.
"From what I've seen in Super Overs, whatever you are chasing, it's the bowler who is under pressure. That's my understanding. That's why when I walked out to bat, I was thinking about whether I should move around in the crease or stay still.
"There were 2 or 3 thoughts like that but in the end, I decided that I will stay still. Let him make the mistake. That was my thought process. And, he bowled it in my zone, and I smashed it."
(With PTI inputs)