Virat Kohli opened up on his on-field relationship with Rohit Sharma in a candid chat after the duo led India to a 2-1 ODI series win over New Zealand in Kanpur on Sunday, October 29. The India cricket team captain said he "enjoys" batting with his deputy, who is wonderful to watch from the non-striker's end, according to the former.
Kohli and Rohit stitched their fourth double-century stand in ODIs in the series decider against New Zealand at the Green Park to help India post 337 runs on the board after being put into bat. The hosts lost opener Shikhar Dhawan early, but the two superstars of the batting line-up combined well and added 230 runs for the second wicket, thereby giving the middle-order a solid platform to shift gears in the end overs.
Rohit was named the Player of the Match for his knock of 147, while Kohli, who was adjudged the Player of the Series, brought up his second century of the series and his 32nd overall. Notably, it was also the 12th 100-plus stand between the two.
While skipper Kohli seemed to be aware of Rohit's hunger after disappointments in the first two games of the ODI series, the latter thanked his batting partner for not running him out during the mammoth stand on Sunday, in a video posted on "bcci.tv".
Rohit was forced to bring the "run-out" issue up as the duo has been involved in six run-outs in ODIs.
Kohli and Rohit also had a word of praise for the bowling unit, which delivered under pressure against a confident New Zealand batting line-up on Sunday. Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal starred with five wickets between them on what was a forgettable evening for other bowlers from both the sides.
Check out the complete text of the interview below
Kohli: Rohit is a guy I really like batting with. We had another huge partnership today. Well done on your hundred, Rohit. Just what to understand how the feeling. You always want to do well every game, but it doesn't come off.
How does it feel when it comes off in important games? This was our fourth double hundred partnership, maybe many more in future.
Rohit: Definitely, many more in future. I look forward to that.
When you play at this level, keeping up the consistency level is hard. But as players, we work towards it and we want to be consistent as much as possible.For me, it's very simple. Whenever I get an opportunity, I just want to express myself.
Since I have started opening the batting, it was all about giving the team a good start. Yes, how much I score matters. I always try and give a good start and laying a platform for the middle order to come and explode. You always tend to go hard, you always want to put pressure on the bowlers. Somehow, it did not happen in the first two games.
Today, I was determined to get the partnership going. It was a series decider. Good that we didn't run out each other. We had a couple of mishaps. But rotated the strike really well. It's always fun batting with you.
Kohli: Generally when we play together, we don't have to say much. We understand where the game is going, understand the match-situation, we both think for the team. It's always great batting with him. We know if we play our games, the team will benefit. We both want to play long.
Kohli: Also a word on our bowlers. And how we pulled back things in the second half. How did you feel? I felt really proud.
Rohit: When you win games like this, it gives confidence as a bowling unit. I knew it was easy for our bowlers, considering the dew factor [in Kanpur]. I thought the bowlers were courageous, they stuck to their plans.
We saw our bowling unit consistently delivering for us against Australia in the last series. We were consistently put under pressure, but these guys kept coming back and delivered for us.
Kohli: It was a great day all in all for us. Another special day for us to remember on a personal level as well as for the team. Four double hundred partnerships now. I have enjoyed each and every one of them. It's always amazing to watch him bat from the other end. Really enjoy batting with him.
Watch the full interview HERE.