Asia Cup 2023: “I was trying to bring him on strike and playing second fiddle,” Kohli on his partnership with Rahul vs Pakistan

Kohli and Rahul slammed centuries and added 233 runs for the third wicket.

Virat Kohli and KL Rahul | GettyVirat Kohli put on a show with the bat on the reserve day of the Asia Cup 2023 Super-4 clash against Pakistan at R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.

Resuming his innings on 8, Kohli anchored India’s innings brilliantly. The right-hander took time to get his eyes in and then made a mockery of the Pakistani bowling attack.

Virat brought his half-century in 55 balls before he put a pedal on the accelerator. The former India skipper was equally severe on both spinners and the pacers as it took him only 29 deliveries to complete the second fifty, which ultimately gave him his 47th century in ODI cricket.

Kohli racked up an unbeaten 122 off 94 balls with 9 fours and 3 sixes and shared an unbroken 233-run stand with KL Rahul (111* off 106 balls) to propel India to a massive 356/2 in 50 overs.

After India won the game by a huge margin of 228 runs, Virat Kohli said his knock was a classic example of playing second fiddle after not getting off to a good start.

“I always prepared my game in a way I can help the team. Today was a classic example of you don’t get off to a good start… KL started better, I was trying to bring him on strike and playing second fiddle,” said Kohli at the post-match presentation after receiving the Player-of-the-Match award.

“And yes, then after that I stepped up where I could. I take a lot of pride in fitness. Pushing for doubles are easy runs, compared to a big shot. It has paid off before, hope to continue in the same way,” he added.

Reflecting on his partnership with Rahul, Kohli said: “Both KL and myself are both conventional players. And when you have him batting the way he was and me playing, its tough to break these partnerships because we don’t play fancy shots.”

“We didn’t think about the partnership too much, the idea was to ‘keep batting.’ It is one of the memorable partnerships we’ve had and for Indian cricket as well. He hit form for us straightaway, good for us (going into the World Cup).”

India will end up playing three days in a row because of rain as they take on Sri Lanka in Colombo on Tuesday (September 12).

“It’s the first time I have done anything (play back-to-back ODIs) like this in 15 years of cricket. Luckily, we are Test players, so we know how to come back the next day and play. Recovery is crucial. It was humid out there today. I will be 35 in November, so I need to take care of my recovery. A big shout-out to the groundstaff from my side,” Kohli stated when asked about taking the field in less than 24 hours.

(With PTI Inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 12 Sep, 2023

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