India vs West Indies, 1st ODI: Life is good when you have Rohit Sharma at the other end, says Virat Kohli
Indian captain Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma made light work of a 323-run target that West Indies had set up for India to chase. The pair shared a stand of 246 for the second wicket which is India’s highest for any wicket against West Indies in ODIs. It is also India’s seventh highest stand for any wicket in the 50-over format. “Life isn’t difficult when Rohit is at the other end. Happens very rarely when Rohit plays second fiddle. Among the top three, I’ve preferred the anchor role, but today I felt good and I communicated with Rohit that he should play the anchor role,” said Kohli in the post-match presentation.
Kohli joined Rohit in the middle when they were 10/1 in the third over. He sprayed boundaries all over the park while Rohit mostly kept the strike rotating. By the time the Indian captain was dismissed, he had scored 140 runs, smashed 21 fours and two sixes. Rohit went on to share a 70-run partnership with Ambati Rayudu where he took the role of aggressor. He ended the match unbeaten on 152 off 117 balls, scoring the winning runs with his eighth six of the innings. “When I got out, he (Rohit) took over and Rayudu played the anchor. And I’ve always enjoyed batting with him. It’s our fifth or sixth double-hundred partnership. When we both bat like that its good fun out there and we know the team will benefit from it,” said Kohli.
This was Kohli’s first ODI since July as he decided to sit out the Asia Cup. He is also now within 81 runs of reaching the 10,000-run mark in ODI cricket. “I have a few years left to enjoy the sport. Playing for the country is a matter of pride, so you can’t take any game lightly. And I like being honest to the sport you love. You’re playing for India, not everyone gets to do that, so that needs to be respected,” said the Indian captain.