Rohit Sharma special but Hardik stands out: Virat Kohli

first_imgVirat Kohli was a relieved man after India’s terrific triumph in the Twenty20 International series as they got off to a brilliant start in England. After the T20I series, India play England in a three-match ODI series from July 12 before the two cricketing giants switch to the traditional format. The five-match Test series starts in Birmingham from August 1.India rode on Rohit Sharma’s third century to defeat England by seven wickets in a high-scoring third T20I in Bristol and win the series 2-1.Kohli was all praise for Rohit, who guided India to their first-ever T20I series win in England.Rohit remained unbeaten on 100 off 56 balls for his third T20I century while Hardik Pandya’s all-round brilliance helped India lift the trophy.Also read – Rohit Sharma joins Virat Kohli in elite T20 Internationals list”Rohit was obviously very special but Hardik was standout. We backed up something and the guys produced the goods for us. We will continue to try different things in the batting order and the bowlers. The guys are taking this as an opportunity. Great to start with a series win,” Kohli said at the post match presentation ceremony.WINNERS! #ENGvIND (@BCCI) July 8, 2018Kohli said he was happy as a captain and lauded his side’s bowling unit for pulling things back.(Highlights | Report)”I think the comeback from the bowlers was outstanding, we thought they would get 225-230. The character they showed is something we are really proud of. As captain, very happy to see that. We had the quality to bowl those wicket-taking deliveries. We applied pressure and pulled the game back,” he said.advertisementChasing a challenging 199 for a victory in the winners-take-all contest, Rohit stepped up to prove his worth as a big-match player.Rohit attacked England’s pacers from the word go as he got off the mark with a wristy flick for six off David Willey in the first over of India’s chase.However, Shikhar Dhawan’s poor run continued as he was dismissed in the third over by Willey. KL Rahul too perished for 19 off 10 balls but that did not stop Rohit’s charge.Also read- MS Dhoni continues record-breaking spree in T20IsHe was ably supported by skipper Virat Kohli and the duo was involved in an 89-run stand for the third wicket. Kohli scored 43 off 29 balls before he was caught and bowled by Chris Jordan in the 15th over.Hardik Pandya, who was promoted ahead of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni, took the pressure off Rohit with some quick runs. He scored the winning six to remain unbeaten on 33 off 14 balls.Rohit became the second batsman after Colin Munro to score three centuries in the T20Is.HITMANNNNN!A fine century for @ImRo45 as he now becomes the second player to score 3 T20I tons.#ENGvIND (@BCCI) July 8, 2018The pair was involved in an unbroken 50-run stand off 23 balls as India crossed the line with eight deliveries to spare and seven wickets in hand.Clearly, it was Pandya’s day as the all-rounder earlier returned with career-best bowling figures (4/38) to restrict England 198/9 in 20 overs.Pandya bowled 11 dot balls in the middle overs and accounted for the wickets of Alex Hales (30; 24b; 3×4; 2×6), skipper Eoin Morgan (6), comeback man Ben Stokes (14) and Jonny Bairstow (25; 14b, 2×4, 2×6) to not allow England to build on their solid start.Pandya was taken for 22 runs in his first over with England’s top-scorer Jason Roy (67; 31b; 4×4, 7×6) taking him to the cleaners.But the all-rounder came roaring back to first remove Morgan and Hales in the same over and then repeating the same in the 18th over to send Stokes and Bairstow back on his fourth and sixth delivery.”Pandya is a really good all-round cricketer, very confident, and the way he picked up those wickets is what you want to see in younger guys. Then he delivers with the bat. The pitch was really flat, we enjoyed ourselves as batsmen. I think it was a brutal day for the bowlers,” Kohli added.Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav was dropped raising a few eyebrows as he had taken five wickets in the first game.Veteran M.S. Dhoni was also at his best behind the stumps, taking five catches and effecting one brilliant run out in the last ball of England’s innings to get the wicket of Chris Jordan.Openers Jos Buttler (34; 21b; 7×4) and Roy gave England a flying start with poor fielding from the visitors helping in the cause too.advertisementIn the first six overs of Powerplay, England scored 73/0 with both in-form batters smacking 10 fours and four sixes in the process.Deepak Chahar (1/43) — making his international debut in place of injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar — did not start off well, going for 13 runs with Buttler hitting him for three fours.In the next over, Buttler took Umesh Yadav (1/48) for two back-to-back fours to set the tone for his team before Roy turned on the heat.The 27-year old hit the first six of the match in the fourth over, a princely down the ground shot at long off before tonking Siddharth Kaul (2/35) for another maximum in the next over to show his intent.To make matters worse, Buttler was dropped by Yuzvendra Chahal (0/30) just after Powerplay although it was a difficult chance.In the next ball, Roy brought up his fifty in style, slapping Chahal for a six over long-on.Kaul finally ended the carnage by rattling the stumps as Buttler tried to swipe across the line. Roy and Buttler stitched together 94-run partnership for the first wicket.Chahal followed it up with an economical over, giving away just three runs. Chahar then got his first international scalp with a slower delivery that the dangerous Roy flicked to Dhoni behind the stumps.At the halfway stage, England were 111/2 with two new batsmen in captain Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales at the crease.Pandya then dented England’s surge as Morgan top-edged a back of a length delivery which Dhoni smothered, clattering the stumps in his follow through, and Hales was caught behind.Later, Stokes holed out to Virat Kohli at mid off and once again in the same over Bairstow, who was looking good after smacking two fours and sixes, nicked a half volley to the keeper.The rest of the batsmen could not take England past the 200-mark but still posted a more than par total.(With inputs from IANS)last_img

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