Before the start of the Rajkot Twenty20 International between India and Bangladesh at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium, there was a threat of Cyclone Maha which would lash the city. However, Cyclone Maha stayed away but Bangladesh were decimated by a hurricane called Rohit Sharma. The Indian cricket team skipper was at his absolute best as he blasted 85 off 43 balls, which included six fours and six sixes. On his 100th Twenty20 International, Rohit put on a show and his 18th fifty helped India win by eight wickets and level the three-match series 1-1 heading into the final game at the VCA stadium in Jamtha on Sunday.
In the post-match presentation, Rohit revealed his mantra for success in this format, having already become the leading six-hitter, run-getter and century-maker in this format. "All these years, I've just tried to do my best with the bat in hand. I knew conditions were perfect. So all I wanted to do was stay still and "tonk" the ball. The year 2019 has been very good so far. Just want to finish it off on a good note. I knew that Rajkot is a good track and it will be difficult for the bowlers in the second innings. We took advantage of that and had a great powerplay. After that, it was all about going on," Rohit said.
India won the toss and chose to bowl but Bangladesh's openers gave the side a good start. Rohit's side did not help themselves due to some sloppy fielding, which included a controversial missed stumping by Rishabh Pant and a dropped catch by Rohit. However, Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar bounced back as they ran through the middle order, with Chahal getting Mushfiqur Rahim's wicket and Sundar getting rid of Mohammad Naim. Rohit credited Sundar and Chahal for restricting Bangladesh.
"Both Washington and Chahal understand their bowling really well. More importantly, they analyse and have conversations on where they can improve. Chahal has bowled in difficult situations and has somehow brought the team to the top. It's given him confidence. Washington has been our new-ball bowler, but today, I wanted to keep his three overs at the back. I'm an emotional guy. We were sloppy in the field, have to accept that. But focus is always on getting the job done," Rohit said.
The third and final match of the series will be played at the VCA stadium on November 10 in Nagpur. Bangladesh will be aiming for their first-ever series win in Twenty20 Internationals against India while India will be aiming to avoid their second series loss in 2019, having lost 0-2 earlier in the year to Australia.