Asia Cup 2022: Virat Kohli scoring runs is huge bonus for us, says KL Rahul after win over Afghanistan
Asia Cup 2022: Indian stand-in skipper KL Rahul said that Virat Kohli scoring runs is a huge bonus for the side and that his work ethic, attitude, and mindset did not change for those two and a half years or so when he could not score a century. This was in response to his team’s 101-run victory over Afghanistan in their final Super Four match at Asia Cup 2022.
In their Super Four match at the Asia Cup 2022, Team India defeated Afghanistan by 101 runs thanks to a century from Virat Kohli and a five-wicket haul from bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar. This victory marked the conclusion of Team India’s campaign.
“Virat scoring runs is a huge bonus for us. He must be pleased with his batting today. He has been working on his game since the last 2-3 series and it has come off beautifully. If you play 2-3 innings like this, you get confidence. Happy he could play that way. It is not like he can hit hundreds only when he is opening. If he can bat at number three then also he can score centuries and it is about the role the team wants him to play. Today he played his role beautifully. He will play his next role in the next series with good performances, no question mark about that,” said Rahul during a post-match press conference.
“That celebration (by Virat on his century) was more of a relief. There was no difference in his mindset, attitude and work ethic during these last two years or so when he could not score a century. It was the same, the desire and passion to win matches for his country have always remained the same for him. But, we are obsessed with numbers. His contributions over the last 2-3 years are still phenomenal. He is still among the top two or three run-getters in white-ball cricket,” he added.
Rahul said that everything is fine with skipper Rohit Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal and Hardik Pandya, who were rested today.
“We are just trying to manage everyone’s bodies. These guys have been playing continuously for the last 3-4 months. We just wanted to try out other guys. It is good to take a break when you can,” he added.
KL Rahul commends Virat Kohli on his sensational performance 🏏 against Afghanistan 🇦🇫 and talks about how important it is for India 🇮🇳 to adapt to different situations going forward. #INDvAFG #ACC #AsiaCup2022 #AsiaCup #GetReadyForEpic pic.twitter.com/l3eC6orho5
— AsianCricketCouncil (@ACCMedia1) September 8, 2022
About his workload, Rahul said:
“For me, the workload is not a huge issue. I am coming back after being away from the game for two months or so. It is about getting more games, more game time. Only that can make me feel good about my game, my batting and my body. It is important that I play more games before we go to Australia. We have a couple of more series and it would be more important to spend more time in the middle,” he added.
About his team’s performance in Asia Cup 2022, which saw them getting knocked out of the competition during the Super Four phase, he said that the side was trying to challenge itself by batting first even though teams batting second earned more wins in UAE conditions.
“As a team, we are always trying to get better in every aspect. Individually also we spend a lot of time with coaches, trying to see things we need to get better at, skills we need to have. We try to practice that and execute that in the middle. There is nothing like a perfect team, it is about getting the job done. Rohit talks about getting the job done as well. We are on that path, we will make mistakes and this tournament was good learning for us. We were challenged and wanted to challenge ourselves by batting first since batting second wins more games as per stats,” he said.
For bowling well against Pakistan and in earlier series leading up to the event, he lauded Ravi Bishnoi.
“He is promising and he has been us with a long time. This means that management believes that he can be a match-winner for us. But it is important that everyone waits for their time,” he added.
Rahul remarked that despite the outcomes, the team is attempting to maintain balance and that they do not let setbacks demoralise them. He gave team leadership and staff credit for providing “cushion and support”.
Afghanistan’s attempt to chase down 213 runs got off to a disastrous start as pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Hazratullah Zazai for ducks in the first over alone.
The next player on the crease, Ibrahim Zadran, made an effort to keep one end steady. However, Kumar’s next victims Karim Janat (2) and Najibullah Zadran (0), and skipper Mohammad Nabi trapped lbw by Arshdeep Singh.
At 21/5 after six overs, Afghanistan was in serious trouble. The next victim of Kumar’s five-wicket haul was Azmatullah Omarzai. He finished with the best bowling figures of his career, taking five wickets for four runs in four overs, one of which was a maiden. Dinesh Karthik made an amazing grab at the covers.
After 10 overs, Afghanistan had a score of 34/6 thanks to Rashid Khan (4*) and Ibrahim Zadran (20*).
Ibrahim and Rashid Khan teamed up to help their squad pass the 50-run threshold. Rashid was caught by Axar Patel at deep midwicket and dismissed by Deepak Hooda for just 15 runs. Therefore, this 33-run stand ended with Afghanistan at 54/7.
Afghanistan had Mujeeb (3*) and Ibrahim (35*) at 63/7 after 15 over.
The next man up, Mujeeb ur Rahman, began putting together a stand with Ibrahim. However, it was insufficient because the run rate kept increasing to an impossible level.
When Mujeeb was at 18, spinner Ravichandran Ashwin struck for Team India and gave them their eight-wicket haul by removing Mujeeb’s stumps. Afghanistan was at 87/8 and had not quite reached the 100-run threshold. Mujeeb and Zadran’s 33-run stand broken.
The next player to the crease was Fareed Malik. Also he and Zadran enabled Afghanistan to end their innings at 111/8 without taking any more hits. Zadran reached his fifty-first run and added an undefeated 64* off 59 balls.
With a 5/4, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was India’s best bowler. Aswhin, Arshdeep, and Hooda each scored one, and India won their final match by 101 runs.
At the ongoing Asia Cup 2022, India’s star batsman Virat Kohli hit his much awaited 71st international century on Thursday, also leading India to a commanding 212/2 in their 20 overs against Afghanistan.
Afghanistan put Team India to bat first, also openers KL Rahul and Virat Kohli made a strong start. The duo’s dashing between the wickets was excellent as usual. In the third over, openers truly started to swing, as Virat smashed bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi for two fours.
After that, KL and Virat gorged themselves on Afghan bowlers. In the sixth over, Virat Kohli, who had a sharp appearance, struck spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman for two fours and a six.
India was 52/0 after six overs and the powerplay, with Virat (25*) and also Rahul (26*) both remaining undefeated.
Even after the powerplay, Virat and KL maintained their dominance over Afghanistan. The two maintained a strong pace for the scoreboard. India had 87/0 after 10 overs thanks to Rahul’s (42*) and also Virat’s (44*) contributions.
With a single, Virat reached his 33rd half-century in the format. With a four in 11.2 overs, KL Rahul assisted the team in reaching the 100-run milestone. He then added another four to his fifty-run total on the following ball.
Medium-pacer In the 13th over, Fareed Malik broke the pair’s 119-run partnership by removing Rahul for 62 off 41 balls after the batter caught by Najibullah Zadran at long-on.
The following batsman, Suryakumar Yadav, launched his innings with a six on the opening delivery, but Fareed quickly claimed his wicket.
On the crease, Rishabh Pant was standing. Along with Virat, he kept the scoreboard ticking and led India into the final five without suffering any further loss. India had 134/2 at the conclusion of 15 overs thanks to Pant (6*) and Virat (59*).
Virat and Pant persisted in their onslaught on the Afghan bowlers. Virat was the one who attacked and also ruthlessly hit the boundaries.
Pant-Virat brought up their 50-run stand with two overs remaining. Moreover, Virat started living in the 90s. Finally, he scored his first century in T20Is and his eagerly awaited 71st international century.
With the contributions of Virat Kohli (122*) and Rishabh Pant (20*), India’s innings was over at 212/2. Afghanistan received 2/57 from Fareed Malik.