Indian skipper Rohit Sharma hailed Virat Kohli after he scored a match-winning 95 runs against New Zealand to take the team to a four-wicket victory at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamshala on Sunday.
New Zealand had posted a fighting score of 273 runs on the board after they were put into bat by Rohit Sharma, courtesy of Rachin Ravindra (75) and Daryl Mitchell (130).
After Rohit Sharma’s dismissal, Kohli was once again able to hit the ground running and kick-started his innings with a boundary. It was then business as usual for the chase master as he picked up singles in the middle overs and kept India on the right track.
But there was a slight wobble in the middle as India lost quick wickets of KL Rahul and World Cup debutant Suryakumar Yadav to find themselves in some pressure at 191-5. However, Kohli was able to guide the team in touching distance of a win as he added 78 runs with Ravindra Jadeja, who remained unbeaten on 39 to get the job done.
Rohit Sharma also showered praise on Mohammed Shami, who returned with his best World Cup figures of 5-54 and grabbed his chance with both hands in his maiden match of the ongoing ODI showpiece.
Rohit Sharma said in the post-match presentation, “Good start to the tournament. The job is half done. Important to stay balanced. Not to think too far ahead. Important to stay in the present. Shami took the opportunity with both hands. He has experience in these conditions and is a class bowler. At one stage, we were looking at 300 plus. Credit to our bowlers at the back end. I am enjoying my batting. Both are different personalities but we compliment each other. Happy that we won. Nothing much to say.”
He said of Kohli, “He has done this for us so many years. He backed himself to do the job. Kohli and Jadeja pulled us back when we lost a few wickets in the middle. The fielding is something we pride ourselves on. Today the fielding wasn’t clinical. Ravindra Jadeja is one of the best fielders in the world. These things happen. We know that fielding is something that will decide a lot of things going forward. We love traveling and playing in different parts of the game.”
India will next take on reigning champions England at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow on Sunday.