Describing India’s clinical win over arch-rivals Pakistan in the World Cup match in Adelaide on Sunday as one of the biggest in his career, star batsman Virat Kohli said that he was happy to have played his part in the
“amazing” victory. (Full Coverage| Venues | Fixtures)
“Probably one of the biggest win in my career so far. Amazing way to begin our World Cup. Big game against Pakistan and it was an amazing fight,” Kohli, who was adjudged man-of-the-match for his crafty 107, said after India won the game by 76 runs at the Adelaide Oval.
“Expectations are going to be there when you do well for your country. I just look to stand up to those because I hate to lose, and I play passionately. I like the pressure and the expectations,” he added.
Talking about the pressure of playing Pakistan, that too in a World Cup match, where India have so far won all the six games against their arch rivals, Kohli said, “Last couple of days have been too tough. Too many people in the hotel getting worked over. You just have to stay in your little space.”
It was a patient yet authoritative knock from Kohli, which he built brick-by-brick rather than playing scintillating shots. It wasn’t a flurry of fours but liberal sprinklings of ones and twos with the boundaries interspersed in-between.
Asked about his innings, Kohli said the team management has assigned roles to every player for this World Cup and he was performing his part.
“We have discussed about roles of each player. My role in the team is to bat through, and the power-hitters can play around knowing that one end is secure. The way Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina batted is commendable,” he said.
The 26-year-old vice-captain thanked the Indian fans for their support and expressed hope that they would continue to do that.
“The support has been magnificent. We expect the same throughout the tournament. Too loud at times for MS (Dhoni) to catch our attention.”
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni praised his batsmen for putting up a stiff total.
“It was a very good performance. I was very happy with our batting. When you are batting first, it is not easy over here. It doesn’t come on that nicely. It has a bit of a variable pace initially but it gets comfortable after that,” he said.
“It was important we stayed in the middle. The big partnership between Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan. And then, Suresh Raina capitalised as well,” he added.
Asked about the confidence today’s win will give to his side after failing to win a single match in Australia (except a warm-up game), Dhoni said, “The break in between was important. The World Cup itself can get you going.
“Also the fans. Even before we came here, there were a lot of fans in our lobby and the Australians were asking what has happened. That helped.”
Replying to a fan question on how he kept his cooldemeanour all the time, Dhoni said, “I don’t control my emotions. They are there. Just that I don’t like to be over-expressive on the field.”
A dejected-looking Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said that the three quick wickets in the middle overs changed the complexion of the game in favour of India.
“They (India) played really well. They posted a big total, and bowled really well. We lost our way with three wickets in the middle. The pitch was really good, and with the quality of their (India’s) batting, 300 was a pretty good effort,” Misbah said.
He said the target was gettable provided all his batsmen contributed and had partnerships.
“If all the batsmen had batted well, it could have been achieved. Two-three batsmen never got in, and got out in the first couple of balls. You can’t say much about that,” said Misbah who was the lone Pakistan batsman to put up a fight with a 84-ball 76.
“Now we have to just look forward. You can’t just think of this game. We have to focus on the next one.”