“Aggression and astuteness” is what Sachin Tendulkar believes Virat Kohli carried the best in his 95-run knock against New Zealand in Dharamsala that helped India secure their 5th consecutive win, in as many matches, in the World Cup 2023, and propel them to the top of the points table, and now just one step away from sealing a semi-final berth.
Another run-chase, and another masterclass was from Virat Kohli as India allay some of the pain for the 2019 World Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand, also in a run-chase.
Chasing the target of 274, India got a rocking start from Rohit Sharma, who scored 46 runs in 40 balls. However, India lost their way with regular wickets. New Zealand stormed back in the game with the wickets of Rohit, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, and KL Rahul before Suryakumar Yadav got run out.
With an out-of-form Ravindra Jadeja and four tailenders to follow, Virat Kohli took the charge and all but sealed off the game, getting out on 95 while trying to hit a six with only 5 more runs required to win. Virat Kohli hit 8 fours and 2 sixes in his innings, while also running the quick singles and hard twos.
Earlier, Mohammed Shami, who replaced Shardul Thakur in the XI to play his first match of the tournament, picked up a brilliant five-wicket haul, which included the wickets of centurion Daryl Mitchell and half-centurion Rachin Ravindra. Shami’s five-for, and India’s death bowling by Shami, Bumrah, and Siraj, ensured New Zealand didn’t go past 273.
Virat Kohli displayed both aggression and astuteness to chase: Sachin Tendulkar
The Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar hailed both Shami and Virat Kohli for their match-winning performances.
Sachin Tendulkar tweeted: “What a befitting top of the table clash! #TeamIndia has showcased their prowess and resilience to claim the top spot. @MdShami11 ‘s five-wicket haul was top notch, and good to see the batters, especially @imVkohli, displaying both aggression and astuteness to chase this total. Well played, boys!”
India captain Rohit Sharma attested to Kohli’s greatness in run-chases.
Rohit said: “He (Kohli) has done this for us so many years. He backed himself to do the job. Kohli and Jadeja pulled us back when we lost a few wickets in the middle.”