It is easy to chase when Rohit gets going : Kohli

Guwahati: India captain Virat Kohli on Sunday hailed his deputy Rohit Sharma for his superlative batting display, saying it is easy to chase down any target when the Mumbai batsman is at the other end. Kohli (140) and Rohit (152 not out) shared a massive 246-run partnership for the second wicket as India mowed down a challenging 323-run target with 7.5 overs to spare in the first ODI against the West Indies at Barsapara Stadium, Guwahati, Sunday.

‘It feels pretty good. It was very convincing for us. West Indies put up a really good total. 320 targets are very tricky, but we knew we could do it with a big partnership. It’s never too difficult when you have Rohit at the other end,’ said Kohli. ‘Among the top three, I mostly take the anchor role because both Rohit and Shikhar (Dhawan) are good stroke-makers,’ he said.

Kohli was adjudged man-of-the-match for his 107-ball knock and the India skipper said he enjoyed his batting. ‘It was one of those days where I felt good and I told Rohit I will continue to bat this way positively and maybe you can play the anchor role,’ he said.
Kohli said building partnerships is the key to success in ODI cricket. ‘When (Ambati) Rayudu came he took that role and Rohit took over from me. I think that’s what ODI batting is all about. It’s about communication and batting in partnerships,’ he said.

‘It’s our 5th or 6th double-century partnership, it’s a pleasure to bat with him (Rohit). When we are batting like that, it’s good fun out there and we know the team will benefit from it as well.’ The India captain refused to be too harsh on his bowlers for leaking runs but said they could have bowled much better at the death. ‘You got to be honest to the sport and that is when the sport gives you back. It’s difficult to contain when a side like West Indies bats like that. I don’t want to be too harsh on the bowlers, but yes, we could have applied a bit better and bowled better in the last few overs. That is something to learn for us,’ Kohli said.

West Indies captain Jason Holder too felt the pair of Kohli and Rohit took the game away from the visitors with their scintillating batting display. He also praised young Shimron Hetmyer, who scored 106 off 78 balls to propel West Indies to the total. ‘Pleased with the guys for the batting effort. Hetmyer batted exceptionally well. We needed to be a lot more decent with the ball. Probably we got a par score, but we were probably 30 runs short,’ he said. ‘Credit to Kohli and Rohit for taking the game away from us. They are two quality players. I think we erred in giving them too many boundaries. Up front we went to get wickets as that was the only way to put them under pressure. We were able to get Shikhar Dhawan early but at the end of the day both Kohli and Sharma played outstanding innings. Hopefully we can play better in the second game and get into their middle order sooner.’

‘Tough to dismiss Kohli, Rohit when they are in full flow’
India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja on Sunday said it is very difficult to contain the duo of skipper Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma when they are batting in full flow as the hosts chased down a stiff 323-run target with consummate ease.

‘If they are set, it’s tough to get them out. They can hit ground strokes and in the air with equal ease. It becomes tough against such batters,’ said Jadeja after India’s commanding eight-wicket win.

‘They played proper cricketing shots. They did not take any chances, they were just playing according the situation,’ said the left-arm spinner of Kohli and Rohit’s 246-run partnership, the first-ever 200-plus run stand against the West Indies.

Jadeja returned with 2 for 66 run figures as West Indies put up a rampaging batting show after being sent in by Kohli. He said the conditions were ideal for batting even as the hosts had apprehensions on how the wicket would behave while chasing the stiff target. ‘Wicket was also very good to bat on. It was not spinning or swinging much. The ball was coming nicely to bat. It was an ideal condition for the batsmen,’ Jadeja said.

‘After they scored 320-plus, we did not know how it will behave in the second half. But after the start we got following (Shikhar) Dhawan’s wicket we thought we could chase it down. Overall it stayed true through out the game,’ he said.

Jadeja said India decided against fielding three spinners because of the uncertainty factor of the wicket. ‘We didn’t know how the wicket would behave, this being the first ODI here. We thought three seamers will help to contain the batsmen in the powerplay,’ he said.


Most 150+ scores in ODIs:
6 Rohit Sharma
5 S Tendulkar/ D Warner
4 S Jayasuriya/ C Gayle/ H Amla

Highest Score Vs WI
219 V Sehwag Indore, 2011
152 Rohit Sharma Guwahati, 2018
141* S Tendulkar Kuala Lumpur, 2006
140 V Kohli, Guwahati, 2018