India in England: Virat Kohli thrilled with KL Rahul’s Manchester assault

India in England: Virat Kohli thrilled with KL Rahul’s Manchester assault

first_imgKL Rahul smashed a unbeaten century and Kuldeep Yadav picked up his maiden T20 International five-wicket haul as India outclassed England by eight wickets in the first T20I and go 1-0 up in the three-match series at the Old Trafford in Manchester on Tuesday.Rahul struck a breezy 54-ball 101, laced with 10 fours and five sixes to anchor India’s run chase that saw him forge a masterly 123-run second wicket stand with opener Rohit Sharma (32 off 30).Chasing 160, India quickly overcame the early loss of opener Shikhar Dhawan (4) as the right-handed duo of Rahul and Rohit helped the visitors race to 50 in the first five overs.KL Rahul, Kuldeep Yadav script India’s demolition over England in 1st T20IIndia captain Virat Kohli explained his decision to promote Rahul ahead of him in the batting line-up and his plans going forward.”Just looking at all the three skill-sets and how convincing we were gives me a lot of pleasure. Some of the younger guys stepping up pleases us too. We are shuffling around keeping the World Cup in mind and that’s why KL went in at three and I went in at four,” said Kohli.MATCH HIGHLIGHTS”We haven’t changed a lot, I usually bat at three and have dropped to four, but this allows me to control the innings in the middle-overs. It gives someone like KL the freedom to go after in the powerplay. We want our cricketers to be fearless, enjoy themselves just like what Kuldeep and he did today. We don’t want that mindset to change and want to provide a cushion behind them to go after. It may not work out well every time but we need to stick to it,” he added.advertisementAlso read – Rahul joins Rohit with second T20I hundredRahul continued his glorious run with the bat, dominating the partnership with Rohit, who uncharacteristically played the perfect second fiddle to the Karnataka youngster.”Rahul has come a long way; especially the way he’s been batting since the IPL and in that one game in Ireland – so clean and crisp. We want guys like him to step up. We don’t want to be one-dimensional, we want people going up and down the order. He’s got a great technique, great temperament and is very hungry and today he was a bit emotional because the last century he scored was against England in Chennai and it’s been that long he’s been waiting for. It was a great century and a great sign for Indian cricket,” Kohli said in praise of Rahul.Also read – Kohli fastest ever to reach 2000 T20I runsRahul started the onslaught right from the word go before meting out some special treatment to off-spinner Moeen Ali, whom he welcomed with a superb reverse sweep that yielded a boundary and followed up with a massive six over long on.The right-hander then picked the leg-spinner Adil Rashid for a boundary to third man to get to his half century off just 27 balls, before launching Liam Plunkett for two sixes and as many fours to milk 20 runs from the paceman.Also read – Kuldeep 3rd Indian to grab five-wicket haul in T20IsWith India comfortably placed at 103/1 midway through the innings, Rohit too stepped up the gas by launching Rashid for a towering six over mid wicket before falling to the same bowler.Rohit’s departure brought in skipper Kohli (20 not out off 22 balls), who was seven shy of becoming the fourth batsman to notch 2000 T20I runs.Kohli, not only got to the landmark but also ensured Rahul get to his deserving second T20I century with a single before the skipper finished off in style with a thunderous six off Ali to guide India home.”When a guy like KL Rahul gets going, he’s difficult to stop. Kuldeep is a terrific bowler, we knew he’d be a big threat coming into the series. It is something we need to assess and get back in the next game,” said England skipper Eoin Morgan.”Today was a game of margins for our spinners; KL chipped one just over. But India played well today and it just wasn’t our day and hopefully we’ll turn up for the next one,” he added.#TeamIndia wins the first T20I against England by 8 wickets.#ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/HOKRLviiB2BCCI (@BCCI) July 3, 2018Earlier, England had themselves to blame for wasting a sound 50-run opening start from Jason Roy (30) and Jos Buttler (69) as Kuldeep (5/24) triggered a collapse that saw Alex Hales (8), Eoin Morgan (7), Jonny Bairstow (0) and Joe Root (0) departing in quick succession — the latter three in a span of four deliveries.advertisementKohli also heaped praise on Kuldeep as his five-wicket haul spun the game in India’s favour.”Umesh was superb with the new ball as well. Kuldeep is a wrist spinner, he’s going to be lethal with any help from the pitch. It was his one over that turned it for us because England were taking it away before that. He’s very difficult to pick and his wrong ‘un hasn’t been easy and I hope he can keep working on it,””At the toss I didn’t think the wicket wouldn’t change much through the course of the game, but we were lucky to keep them down to 30-40 runs short. With the start they got, I thought they would get to 200. And then the odds were stacked against England,” Kohli added.Buttler, however continued tormenting the Indians with a 46-ball knock laced with eight fours and a couple of sixes before becoming Kuldeep’s fifth victim, thanks to a brilliant catch by Kohli after Rahul dropped him one ball earlier.When asked about his celebration post the dismissal he clarified that it was emotion of representing his country.”We dropped Jos and we know how dangerous he can be. It was a moment where I felt we needed to hold on to everything and I got the opportunity to convert. I can’t be someone who’s standing on the field doing nothing, I need to be pumped up when I am playing for the country and sometimes that boils over, but it’s not that I always go bonkers. Luckily that passion has carried on for a while,” Kohli said.Towards the end, lower order bat David Willey’s unbeaten 29 off 15 balls helped England to some sort of respectability.(With inputs from IANS)last_img

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