The Indian fielding left a lot to be desired as it cost them dearly against South Africa in a Super 12 contest of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Perth. After being kept to a low total - 133/9 - there was hardly any room for the Indian team to relax in the field but they missed as many as three chances including two run outs to give Aiden Markram multiple lives who went on to score a half-century.
Rohit was the guilty party twice for the missed run out chances as he failed to make the direct hit from close ranges - the second being the brightest chance to get rid of Markram before he got to his fifty.
Then Virat Kohli, one of the finest fielders in the world, dropped a dolly when Markram was batting on 34. He would be dismissed later on but only after having added 52 runs to the South African total.
“We were a little poor in the field, we gave so many chances and we weren’t clinical," Rohit said at the post-match presentation. “We were just not good enough. The last two games, we were pretty good in the field. We couldn’t hold our chances, we missed a few run-outs. We need to keep our heads high and take a learning from this game."
However, credit to the Indian bowlers for making a match out of it as they didn’t allow freebies and made life difficult for the South African batters. With the match going down to the wire, India were though left with a tricky decision - when to bowl the fourth and final over of spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who would be targeted considering how well the pacers were bowling.
Rohit inserted him into the attack for the 18th over and David Miller all but sealed the fate of the contest with back-to-back sixes off the first two deliveries of the over.
“I’ve seen what happens with the spinners in the last over, so I wanted to go the other way," Rohit explained his decision. “If I can finish Ash, I just wanted to make sure that the seamers are bowling the right overs. You have to use it at some point. With the new batter, it was the perfect time for him to bowl. Miller played some good shots as well."
It was thanks to Suryakumar Yadav’s excellent innings of 66 that India were even able to give their bowlers something to defend after finding themselves in trouble at 49/5. Rohit accepted the batting failure but said the track wasn’t easy to bat on either.
“We expected that the pitch will have something in it. We knew that there’ll be a lot of help for the seamers, that’s why it wasn’t an easy target to chase. We fell a little short with the bat. We fought well, but South Africa were better today," he said.