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    Cricket NewsRegarding Mohammed Shami's decision to drop his run-out appeal against Dasun Shanaka,...

    Regarding Mohammed Shami’s decision to drop his run-out appeal against Dasun Shanaka, Rohit Sharma opened up. 

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    After the batsman backed up too much on his way to a valiant hundred in the first ODI in Guwahati on Tuesday, India captain Rohit Sharma stated he did not want Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka to be run out. When India was selected to bat first, Virat Kohli scored his 73rd century in international play, while Rohit and Shubman Gill each added half-centuries, and India recorded an impressive 373 for 7. After losing half of their team for 161, Sri Lanka was never in contention, but Shanaka (108 not out off 88 balls) stood out among the rubble with his fight knock.

    But if Rohit hadn’t stepped in, he wouldn’t have made it to the landmark. He overruled Mohammed Shami’s appeal for a run out at the non-end striker after the batter had backed up too much, allowing Shanaka to reach his century. “I had no idea Shami did that (run-out), he (Shanaka) was batting on 98. The way he batted was brilliant, we cannot get him out like that. Not something that we thought of, hats off to him, he played really well,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

    After the excellent work of the hitters, speed merchants Umran Malik (3/57) and Mohammed Siraj (2/30) completed the lopsided victory, though Rohit felt India should have bowled more effectively as a team. “We started off really well and to get that total was a great effort from all the batters. The platform was set to come out and play freely. I thought we could’ve bowled slightly better, but don’t want to be too critical of it although the dew was not so much.

    “We bowled well as a unit and if you want to win games like this, everyone has to come to the party. There are some areas we need to look at as a group and again it’s a team sport.” Man of the Match Kohli, who struck 12 fours and a six in his 87-ball 113, said one has to play every game as if it is his last outing.

    “I don’t think there was anything different. My preparation and intent always remain the same. I thought I was hitting the ball nicely. It was close to the template I play with, I understood we needed an extra 25-30 runs,” Kohli said. “I tried to understand the conditions in the second half. Tried to get a comfortable total for us on the board. The one thing I learned was desperation doesn’t get you anywhere. You do not need to complicate things. You go out there and play without any fear, I can’t hold on to things.

    “You have to play for the right reasons and almost play every game like it’s your last and just be happy about it. The game is going to move on. I am not going to play forever, I am in a happy space and enjoying my time playing.” Thanks to their skipper’s knock, the Sri Lankans ended at 306 for eight in 50 overs. Shanaka said his new ball bowlers were not up to the mark.

    “I think the start their openers gave, we didn’t use the new ball well, unlike their bowlers who got it to swing. We did have a plan, but the bowlers didn’t execute the basics right,” Shanaka said. “We didn’t use variations during the first 10 overs. (With the bat) I think I’m doing the basics well, I think I should bat higher in the T20Is, but the team needs me to bat at 6 with Bhanuka at 5.”

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