India coach Ravi Shastri felt god was in England’s dressing room during their World Cup league stage loss to the hosts, but hoped he will be on their side if they meet again in the tournament final.
If India beat New Zealand in the first semi-final, they will play the winner of the second last-four clash between Australia and England in the summit showdown.
India qualified for the semi-finals as table toppers with seven wins. England were the only team to get the better of Virat Kohli and his men.
Billed as favourites in the run-up to the tournament, England overcame a must-win situation against India to keep their semi-final hopes alive.
“I thought god was in England’s dressing room that day. Hope if we play England next, he sits in ours,” Shastri said in a video posted by the ICC.
Shastri was lavish in his praise for the current tournament top-scorer Rohit Sharma, who has so far scored a World Cup record five centuries.
“Rohit is one of the greatest one-day players. Whether he would have scored runs in this competition or not, just seeing his record over the years... the three double hundreds in ODIs. No one has done that. He has been really consistent for India at the top. His form was no surprise. If he chooses a tournament like the World Cup to get that form in, as a coach, I will take it,” Shastri said.
Rohit’s form and consistency have benefitted India. The opener entered into the semi-finals on the back of three back-to-back hundreds.
Picking Rohit’s hundred in the opening match against South Africa as one of his best batting performances, Shastri said: “It was a tough wicket. It was two-paced. So I thought it was a special innings from Rohit because among all the ODI hundreds he has got, I thought that was one of his best,” Shastri said.