Virat Kohli has expressed his joy over the Indian team's win over arch-rivals Pakistan and encouraged his side to replicate the performance when they take on Sri Lanka on Thursday. A win over Sri Lanka could make India the second team to register a spot in the semi-finals of the tournament.
India started their title defence on a winning note when by thrashing Pakistan by a huge margin of 124 runs. After piling up 319 in 48 overs, the Indian bowlers dismantled the Pakistan batting lineup in the rain-curtailed match for a paltry 164 to seal two points.
Virat Kohli explained how the win would help India in their upcoming matches in the tournament.
"Every game in this tournament is big, but we have a side with a few youngsters coming in and gradually getting towards strengthening their careers for India, So I think from that, from the team's point of view, it's a massive win for us. Just the way we played and the confidence we showed throughout the game was something that was very pleasing to see as a captain." Kohli said, reported AFP.
"Even though we lost the toss, guys were raring and ready to go, willing to take up the pressure.That gave all of us the confidence to start striking the ball well, but initially the openers gave us a good start as well.As I said, it's a clinical performance from us, from the team's point of view, yes, it is indeed a very big win," the 28-year old further added.
The Indian duo of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan gave the men in blue the perfect start as the right-hand left-hand combination weaved a 136-run partnership to setup the platform for a huge total. Skipper Kohli then took on the reins and was beautifully complemented by Yuvraj Singh whose 53-run stint gave India's run rate a major boost towards the end of the innings for which the Indian southpaw bagged the Man of the match trophy. If India recreate the same performance against Sri Lanka, they will become the second team after England to confirm a berth in the semi-finals of the tournament.
"After I got to 50, I wasn't able to freely play. And Yuvraj came in and just took all the pressure off me,The way he batted was the way only he can strike the ball. I think that really deflated the opposition. His innings was a difference in the game," he said.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka will come into the game after suffering a 96-run loss at the hands of South Africa and will look to dominate India in a must-win game for them.
On the contrary, the islanders started the tournament terribly after losing their regular captain Angelo Matthews to a calf injury and if that blow was not enough the stand-in captain Upul Tharanga was handed a two-match suspension for the slow over rate during the match. However, Mathews has been termed fit to resume his duties as the captain.
"The whole team is responsible. Whoever the captain is, we have to back him and try to support him in the field, The captain has to do so many other things and stuff to work on. We have addressed in the past as well, but it cropped up again.It's so unfortunate to see Upul going out as he is a crucial player in our set up.He batted well against South Africa and it's so disappointing. This cannot happen again," Mathews said addressing the loss.
India or West Indies? Who will win?
WI hold a 60-53 H2H advantage over IND historically but in last 10 completed games between them , IND have won 7. IND has also won all last 5 games at this venue.