safari staff
11 Sep 2023 | 07:20 PM

KL was informed only five minutes before toss: Rohit Sharma

India had a field day in Colombo as their batters and bowlers delivered comprehensively against rivals Pakistan

A match where getting any sort of a result seemed like an unlikely occurrence saw India thump Pakistan by 228 runs, their biggest margin versus them in all ODIs. 

The day began on an ominous note as it continued to pour at the scheduled resumption of play (3 PM). Cricketing action finally resumed at around 4:45 PM, with a major update - Haris Rauf was going to play no further part in the ODI due to a minor injury scare. 

Virat Kohli and KL Rahul resumed play with India's scoreboard reading 147/2 after 24.1 overs. The duo then paced their innings to perfection, ensuring India lost no more wickets in the innings. Both of them also got to their tons, and set a steep target of 357 for Pakistan to chase. 

Rohit wasn't miserly while commending his batting unit for their performances. Kohli, especially, was at his fluent best while scoring his 47th ODI century. He also made it clear that KL's inclusion was decided in the eleventh hour, and happened only due to Shreyas Iyer's injury-forced absence.

"We wanted to walk out to the park and have some game time. Many of the guys didn't have game time. It was a fantastic batting performance, right from yesterday.

"When we started, we knew the wicket was good. And then Virat and KL obviously. We know it was a typical Kohli innings, brilliantly paced. Very happy for KL, it was a last-minute change and it's not easy coming from an injury. He was informed about it only five minutes before the toss, and it's not easy to come out in those circumstances.

"With interruptions you have to adjust, but with two experienced batters in the middle, we knew they'd get their eye in and then terrific effort from both," the Indian skipper said at the post match presentation.

He also thanked the ground staff for their efforts in enabling the game to take place. They had to clock in ungodly hours to ensure that the outfield and pitch remained dry and fit enough for the players.

"This wouldn't have been possible if for the groundsmen. I know how tough it is to do it yesterday and then again today. Big thanks to all of them. There are so many people around the ground who wanted to make sure the game happened," he said while lauding the efforts of the groundstaff at RPS, Colombo. 

The Mumbai seemed to be at his appreciative best as his went to praise the Indian bowlers for their comprehensive performance. Each of their six bowling options bowled tight lines and not once did they all Pakistan batters to release the pressure built. 

With a couple of games to go in the tournament before the all important final takes place, India will want to use these games to iron out the chinks and ensure everyone gets adequate game time.

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