India get their ICC Champions Trophy campaign off to a positive start as the defending champions registered convincing wins in two warm-ups against New Zealand and Bangladesh. The Virat Kohli-led unit was exceptional with the ball in both the contests and the batsmen got a decent hit in the middle in the Bangladesh warm-up.
After the 240-run win over Bangladesh, Kohli was a content skipper and said, “Both games we got what we wanted. Batsmen got runs, bowlers were outstanding as well.”
Talking about the cloudy conditions which greeted the two teams in the morning, Kohli said, “When the cloud cover comes in, it’s difficult for the batsmen.”
For Indian batting, Shikhar Dhawan was among the runs and so was Dinesh Karthik. There were disappointing outings from Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma but Hardik Pandya did the job for the team lower down the order against Bangladesh. The right-hander smashed an unbeaten 54-ball 80 and earned a lot of praise from the skipper. “We back Hardik and Kedar to do the job for us down the order,” Kohli said after the win.
Karthik got two hits and could feature in the playing XI for the opener if Yuvraj Singh’s condition doesn’t improve. After a duck in the opening warm-up, the wicketkeeper-batsman scored a fluent 94 against Bangladesh. Kohli revealed that the team wanted to give the right-hander a longer run.
“Dinesh is an outstanding player, we just wanted to give him a longer run. We have ticked all the boxes in these games,” said Kohli.
The skipper felt the team is ready for the opener against Pakistan and he personally can’t wait for the big game. “We can’t wait for the 4th,” the skipper signed off.