ADELAIDE: Virat Kohli, the man regarded as the natural heir to Sachin Tendulkar, blasted India past Pakistan at the World Cup on Sunday and described it as one of his greatest moments.
Kohli became the first Indian to make a hundred against arch-rivals Pakistan in a World Cup game, with his 107 the cornerstone of the defending champions’ 300 for seven from their 50 overs.
In reply, Pakistan were bowled out for 224 as India claim a 76-run win in what was an opening Pool B match for both the Asian giants.
“It’s one of the biggest wins of my career. It’s amazing to start like this,” said Kohli after his 22nd one-day international century came on the same Adelaide Oval ground where he made two hundreds in a Test match against Australia in December.
“Expectations of me will rise but I just look to stand up to it.”
“I hate losing. I love to win and play for my country. My role is to play a long innings so that the power hitters can play with freedom.”
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said the performance was based on a good start and a patient approach.
“It’s necessary to put runs on the board and give the bowlers the cushion of that extra 20 or 30 runs. Over here the first 10 overs aren’t that easy as the ball varies in pace and bounce,” explained Dhoni.
“I felt all the boys had a good performance with the bat and the ball and that’s very important at the start of a long World Cup. “Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq hit his team’s top score of 76 but that was little consolation after seeing his team lose for the sixth successive time against India at a World Cup.
“They played well, posted a good total and bowled well. When we lost wickets in the middle it made it hard,” said Misbah.
“The pitch was very good, and our bowlers pulled them back well in the last 10 overs. They might have scored more. Two or three of our batsmen didn’t get in and you can’t say much about that. I thought 300 was gettable.”