Just a couple of nights after a poor show on the field against the Proteas, the Men in Blue survived a scare against Bangladesh mainly due to fine fielding in a crucial Super 12 match of the T20 World Cup at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.
If senior pros Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were guiltily of missing an easy run-out chance and dropping a sitter to hand Aiden Markram reprieves at Perth, K L Rahul produced a brilliant direct hit while running in from the boundary to cut short Litton Das’ blinder against the Tigers. Das’ 27-ball 60 had put Bangladesh in control when Rahul hit the bull’s eye shortly on resumption of play after the rain break.
The effort inspired his teammates to raise their game. Suryakumar Yadav took a sharp catch to end Das’ opening partner Najmul Hossain Shanto’s knock. Surya was in the thick of action again as he took a skier to send back Afif Hossain.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan was the key in the chase once Das got out. Substitute Deepak Hooda took a well-judged catch to remove Shakib off Arshdeep’s bowling.
It was the turn of Arshdeep to pouch a skier as Yasir Ali fell in the very next over to leave Bangladesh reeling at 102/5.
In the end the Indians won by five runs to boost their semifinal hopes.
Rohit was quick to acknowledge the importance of fielding in the post-match presentation ceremony. “Some of the catches we took today was great to watch. When you’re playing in front of a big crowd it’s not easy. To take those catches, it shows the character of the guys. I have no doubts over our fielding abilities,” Rohit said.