Among the top three, I mostly take the anchor role because both Rohit and Shikhar are good stroke-makers: Virat Kohli


Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma

For India’s win over Windies in the first ODI of the five-match series at the Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday, the credit goes to captain Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

The prolific pair’s masterful centuries helped India secure a comfortable eight-wicket win over the visitors. While Kohli scored 140 runs, Rohit notched up an unbeaten 152, and together stitched a record-hauling partnership of 246 runs.

While chasing 323, India lost opener Shikhar Dhawan for just four runs in the second over. Debutant Oshane Thomas dismissed Dhawan to pick his first international wicket.

Rohit and Kohli then took off cautiously, before the Indian skipper took an aggressive turn and rallied up with a flurry of boundaries. Rohit, on the other hand, played a touch slower innings, standing second fiddle to Kohli. But with Kohli nearing his 36th ODI century, Rohit toned up his aggression lining up a couple of sixes and fours. Both notched up their respective tons en route to a record-hauling 246-run stand to take India close to a massive victory. After the dismissal of the 29-year-old, Rohit was assisted by India’s new no.4 batsman Ambati Rayudu as the hosts wrapped up the match with still 47 balls remaining.

When asked about the match-winning partnership and his time at the crease with Rohit and of course their strategy involving the knock, India captain and the Man of the Match, Virat Kohli said:

“Among the top three, I mostly take the anchor role because both Rohit and Shikhar are good stroke-makers. 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.

When 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. It’s our 5th or 6th double-century partnership, it’s a pleasure to bat with him.”

When we are batting like that, it’s good fun out there and we know the team will benefit form it as well. I have few years left in my career to enjoy this sport. Playing for country is a matter of pride and a huge honour. You can’t afford to take any game lightly.

You got to be honest to the sport and that is when the sport gives you back. I try to do that. That’s my basic thinking, because you are playing for India and not everyone gets to do that. It’s difficult to contain when a side like Windies 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.”

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