Virat Kohli was brilliant in pacing his innings as usual but India captain Rohit Sharma doffed his hat for comeback man KL Rahul, whose hundred was equally important in team’s record breaking 228-run victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in an Asia Cup Super 4 match here on Monday.
Kohli scored and unbeaten on 122 and Rahul remained 111 not out as their 233-run stand for the third wicket took India to a record equalling 356 for two. Kuldeep Yadav blew away the Pakistan batters with a five-wicket haul to set up the big win.
“Virat’s innings was brilliantly paced. And then KL, last minute to get back from injury and play 5 minutes before the toss. We told him to get ready. Shows the mindset of the player. Looking at how we batted, there were lots of positives with the openers and then Virat and KL,” said Rohit.
The Indian skipper himself scored an attacking fifty to set the platform and couldn’t be happier that his team ticked all boxes in a near-flawless performance.
“It was a fantastic performance, right from yesterday. When we started, we knew the wicket was good and we had to adjust with the rain, the two experienced guys we knew they’d take time to get their eye in and then we can get going.” It was also Jasprit Bumrah’s first chance to roll his arm in an ODI game after his comeback from a back surgery.
“He looked good. He swung it both ways and he’s worked really hard for the last 8-10 months. Bumrah is only 27 (nearly 30), for him to miss games isn’t ideal but the way he bowled showed what he is all about,” Rohit said.
The skipper also thanked the Premadasa ground staff for their tireless work to get a full game despite multiple stoppages through the last two days.
“We just wanted to get out on the park, to get some game time. Lot of guys haven’t had that. That could only happen thanks to a great effort from the groundsmen. I know how tough it is to cover and remove covers from the whole ground. On behalf of the entire team, we would like to thank them.”