Rohit Sharma’s 87 Steers India to Challenging Total on Unpredictable Lucknow Pitch, ICC World Cup 2023

Rohit Sharma’s Masterclass

In a high-stakes encounter against England in Lucknow, Rohit Sharma exhibited his mastery on a volatile pitch, anchoring the Indian innings with a composed 87 off 101 balls. His resilient innings paved the way for India to recover from a rocky start and post a total of 229/9 in their allotted 50 overs.

Early Wobbles on a Tricky Surface

In a departure from their usual strategy in the World Cup, India found themselves batting first. The unpredictable nature of the Lucknow pitch proved a formidable challenge as the ball behaved capriciously, confounding batsmen and bowlers alike. The result was a series of early blows for the Indian team.

Rohit Sharma’s Aggressive Start

On a scorching Sunday afternoon, Rohit Sharma adopted an aggressive approach from the outset, staying true to his style throughout the World Cup. David Willey bore the brunt of Rohit’s onslaught, conceding two powerful sixes in an explosive 18-run third over.

Early Losses for India

Shubman Gill, who was cautiously establishing himself at the crease alongside the Indian skipper, was undone by a Chris Woakes delivery that unexpectedly nipped back, dismantling his defense. The wicket signaled India’s early troubles. Virat Kohli, facing a pitch with inconsistent bounce, struggled to get going and eventually fell victim to a lofted shot that found Ben Stokes at mid-off. Shreyas Iyer’s ill-timed pull shot further deepened India’s woes as he top-edged a delivery to Mark Wood at mid-on.

Rohit Sharma
Image Source- Cricbuzz

Rescue Mission Led by Rohit and KL Rahul

India, reeling at 40 for 3 in the 12th over, found hope in the partnership of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, who were batting together in an ODI for the first time since January 2020. Despite the pitch’s unpredictability, Rohit maintained a brisk scoring rate, achieving his 54th ODI fifty off 66 balls. England’s closest opportunity to dismiss Rohit was an LBW appeal, but the Indian captain successfully overturned the decision upon review.

Liam Livingstone’s Spin Challenge

Liam Livingstone introduced spin into the proceedings and started with a maiden over, exploiting sharp turn. However, Rahul managed to break free in Livingstone’s second over with a streaky four off the outside edge. Rohit, on the other hand, executed a reverse-lap past the short third man, resulting in a couple of fours. Nevertheless, David Willey had Rahul attempting a risky shot, ultimately costing him his wicket.

Adil Rashid’s Impact

As the partnership between Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav developed, Jos Buttler brought back Adil Rashid for a second spell. Rashid made an immediate impact by dismissing Rohit Sharma, who had been orchestrating a remarkable innings, and went on to reach 18,000 international runs. Suryakumar Yadav, though, exhibited his mettle with a solid 49 off 47 balls.

Rohit Sharma
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Late Wickets and Suryakumar’s Heroics

Jos Buttler’s decision to reintroduce Mark Wood into the attack paid dividends as he dismissed Mohammed Shami, leaving India at 183 for 7 in the 42nd over. Suryakumar Yadav, no stranger to batting in the death overs, displayed his unique style with a massive flick over fine leg for a six. Nevertheless, he fell in the 47th over, attempting a big shot and giving Willey his third wicket of the game.

Rohit Sharma
Image Source- Cricbuzz

Valuable Contributions from Bumrah and Kuldeep

Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav added 21 crucial runs for the ninth wicket, frustrating England’s attempts to end the innings swiftly. Bumrah even managed to score a boundary off a searing 149kmph delivery from Mark Wood.

Brief Scores: India 229/9 in 50 overs (Rohit Sharma 89, Suryakumar Yadav 49, KL Rahul 39; David Willey 3-45, Adil Rashid 2-35 Chris Woakes 2-33) vs England

Despite the pitch’s unpredictability, Rohit Sharma’s resilient 87 and Suryakumar Yadav’s determined 49 led India to a total of 229/9 in 50 overs. The match promises a thrilling contest as England prepares to chase down this challenging target.

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