Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar applauded star India batter Virat Kohli for delivering once again when the side was under pressure against Australia in their opening match of the 2023 World Cup in Chennai on Sunday, October 8. Chasing 200 on a tough Chennai pitch, Kohli entered the crease with Team India losing a wicket in the first over of the innings. The veteran then watched as India slipped to 2/3 before smashing a stunning 85 off 116 deliveries to steady the ship. He added a match-winning partnership of 165 with KL Rahul to help India register a comfortable six-wicket win as well.
Speaking to India Today, Gavaskar said, “He relishes pressure and does not want easy runs. When you’re under pressure, all your runs are valuable. So relishing the pressure is one of the most important aspects. There’s no batter who doesn’t need a bit of luck at the start of the innings. But once that luck comes your way, you’ve got to cash in on it and he is very good at it. I’m actually surprised that he got out at 85 because if there’s one batter who knows how to get a hundred, it’s Kohli.”
The betting legend also felt India’s recovery from a struggle situation to emerge victorious was a statement for the other teams in the World Cup as well. However, India had a dismal start to their run-chase, with Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, and Shreyas Iyer registering ducks. However, Kohli’s 85 and Rahul’s 97* helped India win.
“What India has shown is that they can recover even with backs on their wall. The fightback that we saw was the most impressive. It was a total all-rounder performance, a very good performance by India. The confidence level will go up. So other teams will have to watch out,” Sunil Gavaskar again stated.
Sunil Gavaskar also lauded KL Rahul for coming in at No.5 and holding the innings together along with Virat Kohli is praiseworthy. Rahul finished with a stunning 97* off 115 deliveries despite walking in at 2/3.
“Virat’s experience was needed and we must not forget Rahul’s innings as well. Rahul scored 97 not out and did not put a foot wrong. Kohli had a bit of luck when that easy catch was dropped. So good to see the way he is playing. We’ve all known the ability and talent that he has. The way he’s batting right now really augers well for India for the rest of the tournament. You have someone coming in at number 5 who can hold the innings together,” Sunil Gavaskar concluded.