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In a notable show of respect, Temba Bavuma acknowledged the significant impact of India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, as the primary factor behind South Africa’s largest-ever defeat in terms of runs in their ODI history.

The Indian team’s relentless momentum continued as Rohit Sharma’s squad convincingly secured a 243-run victory over South Africa in their World Cup 2023 match held in Kolkata.

Temba Bavuma hinted that the outstanding performance of Rohit Sharma during the initial 10 overs, coupled with his insightful captaincy, along with India’s excellent bowling in the first 10 overs, tilted the game firmly in India’s favor.

During the post-match press conference, a journalist queried Temba Bavuma about the significance of the first 10 overs. Bavuma readily concurred but cleverly sought clarification on whether the query pertained to South Africa’s bowling or batting performance.

Journalist: Did the first 10 overs make all the difference?

Temba Bavuma: Certainly, but are you referring to our bowling or batting?

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This subtle nod of approval from Temba Bavuma amounted to high praise for Rohit Sharma, the counterpart of the South African skipper.

On a challenging pitch, Rohit Sharma provided India with a blazing start, amassing 40 runs from just 24 balls, propelling India to 91/1 at the 10-over mark. The pitch soon revealed its complexity, causing even the in-form Virat Kohli and the spin specialist Shreyas Iyer to encounter initial difficulties before finding their stride.

In South Africa’s pursuit of the target, the outcome was all but decided by the 10-over mark, with South Africa struggling at 35/3. Their chances of victory appeared bleak. Subsequently, Ravindra Jadeja swiftly dismantled the South African lineup, securing a five-wicket haul in the ODI World Cup and restricting them to a mere 83 runs, culminating in a commanding 243-run victory for India.

Rohit Sharma exhibited brilliance with his aggressive approach during the powerplay, setting a noteworthy example of the required intent for opening batsmen in white-ball cricket, particularly when the pitch is expected to become increasingly challenging for batting as the game progresses. His tactical acumen concerning bowling and fielding adjustments was equally commendable. Some fans even voiced their support for Rohit Sharma to receive the Man of the Match award for his explosive start, rather than Virat Kohli.

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Rohit Sharma shared his perspective: “If we reflect on our performance in the last three games, it’s evident that we’ve adapted exceptionally well. We faced pressure against England but managed to post a competitive score. Our seamers executed brilliantly. Although we lost a wicket in the first over, we subsequently accumulated runs, and our seamers delivered an exceptional performance. We relied on Kohli to assess the situation and adapt his play accordingly. We recognized the importance of precision in our deliveries and allowed the pitch conditions to work in our favor.”