Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Monday lauded batsman Rohit Sharma's contribution in India's 2-1 victory over England in the T20I series. Rohit's elegant unbeaten century made it a walk in the park for India as they cruised to a seven-wicket victory against England to clinch the three-match series in Bristol.
The Indian vice-captain made a target of 199 look ridiculously easy on a small Bristol ground after the visiting bowlers did a commendable job at the back end to restrict the hosts to a sub-par score.
Captain Virat Kohli (43 off 29 balls) played his part with his authoritative strokeplay while Hardik Pandya, who shone with the ball earlier with a four-wicket haul, also made a significant contribution with the bat. Pandya hit 33 not out off just 14 balls as India reached to 201 for 3 in 18.4 overs.
Ganguly said Rohit is a classy player and a big knock from him was just around the corner.
"I had told you in Cardiff that a big knock from Rohit Sharma was just around the corner. He is a big player and can't be away from a big score for too long. Today when the team needed him the most to win the match, he played a gem of a knock," Ganguly told IndiaTV from Bristol during "Cricket Ki Baat show.
"Rohit's innings was fluent and flawless. This is his third hundred in this format, that's something even Virat Kohli doesn't have. This shows what kind of an impact Rohit has on this team, especially in limited-overs cricket," he added.
The former fire-brand captain said India never looked under pressure in England.
"India were never in pressure during the game. They were always ahead of England and it never looked as if England were going to win the game," he said.
Ganguly said the T20I series win will boost India’s confidence going into the three-match ODI series, starting on July 12.
He also felt that "Yo-Yo" Test has helped the Indian players to improve their strength under pressure situations.
"As I told you before that Yo-Yo Test is not a yardstick for cricketers but it does provide the strength to the team. This can sometimes make a difference in winning and losing. I feel the way this team has proven its strength under pressure, it shows their mental preparedness," he said.
Ganguly, however, said that it was a wrong decision to drop Kuldeep Yadav from the playing XI in Bristol.
"I think India made a mistake by dropping Kuldeep Yadav. You can't drop him from this team. He took five wickets in Manchester. India must have won the match but I feel if Kuldeep was there, England would not have reached 198. I was a bit surprised by the decision to drop him," concluded Ganguly.