Time and time again Virat Kohli proved why he’s rated as the “King of Cricket”. Round two of the game between India and Pakistan in the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup 2023 was another instance. The men in blue registered the massive 228-run win over their arch-rivals. They have now made their case strong to make it to the finals.
It was a near-perfect game for India. But the man of the hour was Virat Kohli, who continued his love affair with Pakistan. India was asked to bat first and they set the stage on fire. Opening batsmen Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill took the attack to Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah with the new ball.
Both the openers notched up a magnificent half-century and added 121 runs to the opening partnership. However, after that, it was all about Virat Kohli’s class along with KL Rahul’s comeback heroics. The duo carried their bat until the end and took the game away from Pakistan with their unbeaten 223-run partnership.
KL Rahul made a blistering century and scored an unbeaten 111 runs but Virat Kohli stole the limelight. The lynchpin of the Indian batting lineup smashed his 47th ODI century and the crowd got their money’s worth. India’s No.3 scored unbeaten 122 runs and in the process also became the fastest batter to 13000 runs in ODIs.
Based on the magnificent performance by the top four Indian batsmen, the Rohit Sharma-led outfit posted a gigantic total of 356 runs on the board. With the ball, they were too much to handle for Pakistan, who didn’t read the Indian bowlers at all throughout the innings.
Jasprit Bumrah made the new ball talk whereas Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur supported him well. But the real blitz came from Kuldeep Yadav. The leg-spinner spun the web around the Pakistan batters and bagged a five-wicket haul. His rollicking spell helped India bundle out Pakistan for just 128 runs and win the game by 228 runs.
Virat Kohli always prepared to helpEmbed from Getty Images
Virat Kohli won his 39th Player of the Match award in ODIs. Virat Kohli said that he’s always prepared to help the team. He also lauded KL Rahul for his magnificent knock and added that his return to form is a great sign for Indian cricket. He explained:
“I’m always prepared to help the team in different ways. Today, KL got a great start and my job was just to rotate strike. I take a lot of pride on trying to push for easy runs, pushing for a double is as easy as they come. (On the reverse ramp boundary) Because I crossed the 100, there was a bit of respect for that shot.
“I don’t play shots like that and I looked very bad playing it. Me and KL are both conventional cricketers. We don’t try fancy stuff but we can get a lot of runs through good cricket shots. A great partnership and a good sign for Indian cricket. Very happy for him to come back to ODI cricket in that manner.”
Virat Kohli took just 267 innings to score 13000 ODI runs. He surpassed great Sachin Tendulkar, who achieved the feat in 321 innings. He’s also just two centuries away from equalling Sachin’s record of most tons in ODIs.