Finally, team India sealed a nine-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the second semi-final of ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Though Bangladesh exceeded Virat Kohli’s expectations in the tournament, the Indian skipper quickly played down the hype around the upcoming blockbuster Champions Trophy final against arch-rivals Pakistan.
A clinical India, riding on Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten 123 and Kohli’s 96 not out, proved too strong for Bangladesh. India will lock horns with Pakistan in the title clash on Sunday i.e. June 18, 2017. “Another complete game. We needed to have a clean, collective game. We didn’t expect to win by nine wickets, but that’s the quality of our top order,” Virat Kohli said at the post- match press conference.
Virat was asked about the final facing Pakistan and Kohli repeated the same feeling what he had been saying all along. “We’re taking it as any other game, I know that’s boring but that’s our mindset,” said Kohli.
When asked whether he was worried about India’s middle order not getting enough opportunities to have a go and his reply was convincing. “It’s never a worry when your middle order isn’t batting too much. Everyone is hitting the ball magnificently in practice. It’s a worry when your middle order is required to bat too early in the game, too often,” added Kohli.
Despite scoring unbeaten 123 runs in the semi-finals, BCCI decided to give rest to Rohit Sharma from an upcoming tour of five ODIs and a T20 International to West Indies though it was a smart decision. Virat stressed the need to monitor the opener’s fitness after a “massive hip surgery”.
“Rohit has come back and really had a full IPL season, which has been hectic. They (Mumbai Indians) reached the final, so he got lesser rest than anyone else. Plus he had a massive hip surgery, so muscles around that area are always vulnerable, and today also he felt a bit of stiffness in his right knee. There is no doubt about Rohit’s ability and what he brings to the team.”
“We need to protect him going further, because later half of the year we have massive tours coming up, and his batting contribution will be a huge factor for us. So we want him to be careful because after a massive surgery you do need to be careful. If you push yourself a little too hard then it snaps again, you’re out for seven, eight months. It is a conscious decision by everyone to give him a break. He is making the most of the form he is in right now. And I’m sure he also knows and understands the whole situation,” Kohli said.
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Rohit Sharma was away from the team for a while due to his injury during the home ODIs against New Zealand in October last year and missed home series against England, Bangladesh, and Australia. He returned to action during the IPL and led Mumbai Indians to the title, and made his India comeback in the ongoing Champions Trophy.
We all know Rohit Sharma’s ability and scoring runs for his team whenever needed as an opener. Hope, this rest period should strengthen his abilities and come back strongly soon.