The Indian cricket team on Sunday registered an emphatic seven-wicket win over England in the final T20I in Bristol, clinching the 3-match series 2-1. 'Hitman' Rohit Sharma single-handedly got the Indian team across the line as he slammed his third T20I ton, scoring an unbeaten 100 off 56 balls. Post the win, Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya credited the India opener for his special innings and said that he hadn't seen anyone strike the ball harder than Rohit. "Rohit played amazingly well. He was outstanding and played a fantastic hand. He won the game single-handedly for us. We expect that from him. I haven't seen anyone hit the ball as hard as Rohit," Pandya told reporters at the post-match press conference.
"Not having two good games and then coming back to play such an innings, that is special. It shows the confidence players have in this team, in themselves. It all comes down to the support staff. They have been great," he added.
Rohit scored 32 and 5 in the previous two games but returned to his best on Sunday night as he smashed 11 boundaries and 5 mammoth sixes in his unbeaten knock.
Pandya too played a major role with both the bat and ball on Sunday. He first returned with figures of 4 for 38 and then came ahead of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina to hit 33 not out off just 14 balls to lend support to Rohit in India's pursuit of 199.
Although Hardik suffered a nightmarish start, conceding 22 runs in his first over, he pulled things back brilliantly in the middle overs to put a brake on the English scoring rate.
Speaking on his performance in the decider, Hardik said, "To be honest, I see the T20 format as a funny game. You need to back yourself and bowl your best balls. I still remember after getting hit for 22, I was still normal. If you come and bowl the right lengths, and take wickets on this kind of pitch, eventually you will stop runs,"
"My focus was to make sure that I bowled different balls rather than just bowling yorkers because bowling length was the key. With the shortest boundaries on the straight, I kind of mixed things. I am learning. I am always learning in the game. I've made sure that I keep on learning from my mistakes. With every game, something or the other I am learning, which is helping my game."
(With PTI Inputs)