India clinched a six-wicket victory over Afghanistan in the second T20I, taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.This series serves as the final preparation ahead of the T20 World Cup in the USA and West Indies.”We have been clear with what we wanted to do, very clear message to everyone and when you see a performance like that, you can be really proud,” Rohit said during the post-match presentation.
“One thing is talking about it, but to actually go there and play that way is a proud feeling. The last two games, we’ve ticked a lot of boxes.”
Yashasvi Jaiswal (68) and Shivam Dube (63) slammed commanding half-centuries to effortlessly chase down a target of 173.
“They’ve had a great couple of years, Jaiswal has played Test cricket now and even T20I. He has shown what he is capable of. He has the talent and has a great range of shots.
“Dube is a big guy, very powerful and can take on the spinners. That is his role and he has come out and played two crucial innings for us.”
In the course of the match, Rohit Sharma also achieved the milestone of becoming the first male cricketer in history to participate in 150 T20 International matches.
“It is a great feeling, it has been a long journey starting way back in 2007. I’ve cherished every moment I have spent here,” he said.
Axar Patel, who was adjudged the Player of the Match for his two wickets for 17 in four overs, said he tried to vary his length and bowled a bit slower.
“Feels good, I just realised that I have got 200 T20 wickets. But what is important to keep doing well for India, honestly a few years later I won’t remember how many wickets I took,” he said.
“I have been trying to bowl a bit slower, vary my lengths and now I have been to gauge these things better. Now I have the confidence to bowl at all times, even in the powerplay.
“You need to be mentally prepared as a bowler in T20 cricket. Ready to concede a six because that same ball could get you a wicket on another day.
“Earlier, I used to vary my plans if a batter was hitting me, but now I stick to my plans and make the batters take the chance against me.”
Afghanistan skipper Ibrahim Zadran said they have been playing well in patches and need to play consistent cricket throughout the innings.
“We were quite short. We had a good start but not very good after that. Sometimes we play well in the powerplay, sometimes in the middle and sometimes at the death,” he said.
“We need to build the momentum throughout and not repeat mistakes to have a good T20 World Cup.”
India will play Afghanistan in the third and final T20I on Wednesday in Bengaluru.
(With PTI Inputs)