Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have praised Indian cricket team’s bowlers after a narrow six-run win over New Zealand in third ODI at Kanpur, which guided them to a 2-1 series win on Sunday.
In a video shared by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the star duo also revealed a secret about their strategy while batting together.
Kohli and Rohit added 230 runs for the second wicket — a record fourth double-hundred partnership for them — to help India put 337 for six on the board. A spirited fightback from New Zealand brought them close to a win, but the Indian bowlers led by Jasprit Bumrah (3 for 47) averted a series defeat.
In the post-match interview conducted by the Indian captain, both Kohli and Rohit praised their bowlers.
Kohli said, “I felt really proud because a lot of times we have given it away before but today in a crunch game which will help us in big tournaments in future… we really did the job.”
Rohit agreed with his captain and commented, “We knew it was not going to be easy for our bowlers considering the dew factor that came in at the start of the innings. I thought the bowlers were courageous in whatever they did, (in) their planning and tactically they stuck to their plans. We saw that again and again; our bowling unit coming and delivering for us. (In) the last series, especially against Australia, you know we were put under pressure many a times but these guys came back really well and that is the hallmark of this team.”
“With so much dew (around) we know that it would be challenging for them but they were quite courageous as I said and they were never afraid of executing their plans,” he added.
India were bolstered by centuries from Kohli (113) and Rohit (147) when they were asked to bat. Talking about their partnership, Kohli said he enjoys batting with Rohit.
“Generally when we play together we don’t have to say much because we both understand where the game is going, understanding the situation. We both think for the team so it is always great batting with him (Rohit) because we don’t have to say much. We know we have to play our games then the team will benefit and we can score big runs because we both want to play long,” Kohli said.
Rohit laid emphasis on top-order batsmen to try and be as consistent as possible. “When you are in good form you always tend to go hard and you always want to put pressure on the bowlers. But (in) the first few games it did not come off. I was determined to get the partnership going, it was important for us (as) it was a series-decider. We wanted to get a good partnership, (it was) good that we did not get run-out, that was good. We (have) had mishap a couple of times in the middle but that was good. We stuck in the middle and rotated the strike quite well. It is always fun batting with you (Virat Kohli),” he said.
India and New Zealand now head into a three-match T20I series starting Wednesday in New Delhi. The second and third T20Is will be played in Rajkot and Thiruvananthapuram on November 4 and 7 respectively.