Even though Rohit performed well yesterday against England, Kohli thinks this player put up a standout performance

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Rohit Sharma was special but Hardik Pandya was standout, exclaims Virat Kohli

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SportsCafe Desk

07/09/2018

Appreciating the performances from his players, Virat Kohli has stated that while Rohit Sharma’s innings was ‘special’ but it was Hardik Pandya who stole the show with his emphatic all-round performance. Kohli also revealed that the team would continue to experiment with both batting and bowling.

Rohit Sharma's stunning unbeaten ton helped India beat England by seven wickets in the third Twenty20 and secure a 2-1 series victory. England, batting first, could only manage 87 runs from the final 10 overs to post 198/8 in Bristol, despite solid start given by Jason Roy, who scored 67 from 31 balls. Sharma shared an 89-run stand with Virat Kohli and accelerated in the final overs to put India in control. It was followed by another small and blistering stand with Hardik Pandya closed out the match with eight balls to spare. 

The all-rounder scored 20 runs from the 18th over off by Jake Ball's delivery, to put India ahead of the run-rate and turned the match firmly in their favor. A lofted drive from Pandya, who made an unbeaten 33 from 14 balls, secured an impressive victory from India in front of a packed crowd. Earlier, Pandya had also taken 4 wickets for 38 runs to halt the flow of England innings and Virat Kohli seemed extremely impressed by the efforts from bowlers to pull England back after an authoritative start. Though he mentioned Sharma played a special innings, he insisted that Pandya was the standout performer.   

"I think the comeback from the bowlers was outstanding, we thought they would get 225-230. The character they showed is something we are really proud of. As captain, very happy to see that. We had the quality to bowl those wicket-taking deliveries. We applied pressure and pulled the game back. [Pandya] is a really good all-round cricketer, very confident, and the way he picked up those wickets is what you want to see in younger guys. Then he delivers with the bat, Rohit was obviously very special but Hardik was standout,” Virat Kohli said in the post-match press conference.  

Deepak Chahar made his debut in the series decider against England and gave 43 runs to pick up 1 wicket. Before Chahar, Siddarth Kaul had also made his debut in the second match of the series, and Kohli revealed that Indian team would continue to experiment and would give opportunities to everyone in the squad.  

“The pitch was really flat, we enjoyed ourselves as batsmen. I think it was a brutal day for the bowlers. We backed up something and the guys produced the goods for us. We will continue to try different things in the batting order and the bowlers. The guys are taking this as an opportunity. Great to start with a series win,” he said. 

India would play England next in the three-match ODI series starting on Thursday at Trent Bridge, before playing first of five Tests on 1 August.

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