DUBAI: Captain-in-waiting Rohit Sharma made short work of a modest target with an elegant half-century after spinners reigned supreme as India on Virat Kohli’s last day as shortest format captain ended their T20 World Cup campaign with an emphatic nine-wicket victory over Namibia on Monday.
Rohit, who is set to take over as India’s white-ball captain, smashed 56 off 37 balls with seven fours and two sixes and got fabulous support from another supremely stylish KL Rahul (54 not out off 36 balls) as India chased down the target of 133 in only 15.2 overs.
It was nothing more than a stroll in the park for the Indians, who basically caught the Namibians by the scruff of their necks with spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, snaring six wickets between them.
Then, Rohit dazzled and Rahul sizzled with some breathtaking pick-up pull shots while Suryakumar Yadav (25 not out off 19 balls) showed his 360 degree hitting skills to end a rather disappointing tournament on a sweet note.
But three comprehensive wins against smaller nations came only after the horse had bolted the door.
As outgoing coach Ravi Shastri pointed out, a “mentally and physically” drained Indian team couldn’t switch on during big-match pressure situations as Pakistan and New Zealand literally embarrassed an out of sync team.
The last three games were flawless but it was two matches too late, something that will certainly haunt Kohli, whose white ball captaincy tenure is set to end with no ICC trophy to show for his efforts.
On the night, India’s spinners were just too good for the unheralded Namibia batters as India restricted the minnows to a modest 132 for 8 in their inconsequential final T20 World Cup match. —PTI