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Sunday, December 4, 2022

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T20 World Cup 2022 – Ind vs Pak

Virat Kohli rates his 82* out of 53 in the MCG pursuit against Pakistan higher than his 82* out of 51 in Mohali in a must-win match in the 2016 T20 World Cup against Australia. However, his captain, Rohit Sharma, has gone a step further, calling Sunday’s innings one of the best for India, not just Kohli’s, by anyone.
“His best for sure,” said Rohit. “But given the situation we were in – and to come out with a win – I think it has to be one of India’s best shots.” [too], not just his best. Because we were so behind the race until the 13th and the required speed only went up and down. But to come out and go after that score was an extremely brilliant effort by Virat, and then of course Hardik [Pandya] played a role there too.”

Rohit was asked about the changes he had seen in Kohli during his period of struggle. “Look, I honestly don’t think he struggled with form or anything,” Rohit said. “He hit as good as he was. But with him, the expectation is always so high that even if he hits a good 30 or 40, people tend to talk about it.

“From the team management perspective I thought he was in a good space from the Asia Cup where he got a month off and then he came back. He was fresh, got a brilliant hundred there, got a couple of fifty if I don’t have any uneven, and leading up to the World Cup we know the quality he has, and he has done so well in all three forms in these kinds of conditions.

“Obviously he used his experience more than anything today, kept calm under pressure, and we know how good he is when the score is in front of him. He’s one of the best chasers in the world.”

Rohit was also pleased with the way his bowlers exploited the early swing and then hit hard balls with precision. “We talked about certain things in our team meetings,” he said. “We talked about how we want to use the bigger boundaries and try to challenge the batsmen a bit.

“You also have to understand sometimes what the pitch is doing. That back of the length, slightly back, slightly full, was not easy to hit, and what happened in today’s game will tell you that. A lot of the guys got wickets bowled back like that because there was a bit of grass on the pitch and also a bit of weather – quite spicy -.

“The first four or five overs were great to watch. For a moment it felt like a test game because of the way the ball moved.”

Rohit said about the swing India got with the new ball

“So we knew if you keep hitting that length it’s going to be a challenge, and that’s something that we constantly put in the ears of the bowlers, that challenges them: if they hit you a couple of sixes from there, it’s fine.” Actually, we were rewarded for bowling that height.

“Hardik in particular, who bowled that length, and some of their batters who were trying to play cross-batted shots got the top edge, and we got the wickets, and that’s something we talked about at the beginning.

“With the way Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar Kumar] and Arshdeep [Singh] were swinging the ball, our original plan was to just toss it and see if we could swing the ball. The first four or five overs were frankly brilliant to watch. For a while it felt like a test match because of the way the ball moved, and [because of] the carry in the field.”

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