India vs New Zealand, ICC World Cup: Virat Kohli is happy to change his tone while Rohit Sharma enjoys a purple spot
MANCHESTER: Rohit Sharma The burning form of India has led to the captain of India virat Kohli To reinvent himself as the orchestrator of half of India, a role he is ready to repeat in the semifinal of the World Cup on Tuesday against New Zealand, the 30-year-old said on Monday.
Starting pitcher Rohit became the first batter to bat five centuries in a single World Cup and is the top scorer of the tournament with 647 races in the knockout stages.
Kohli, the best ODI batter in the world, has accumulated five fifty in a row, but has not yet registered a hundred, something he attributed to his new role as the team's anchor in the middle.
It has been a different role from the one I played in this World Cup, Kohli told reporters at Old Trafford.
It's great that Rohit has been scoring so consistently, which means that in the second half of the innings, you have to play a different role, which is to control the intermediate raises and let guys like Hardik (Pandya), Kedar (Jadhav), MS (Dhoni) and Rishabh (Pant) are expressed.
I understood that roles can vary a lot in one day's cricket, depending on the moment when you enter to hit, and I feel very happy to hold one end and let other players express themselves by hitting 150-160 and even 200.
Personal milestones are the last things in the mind of the captain leading India's bid for a third World Cup title.
Rohit said the same thing the other day, that he's trying to do what's best for the team. Special things happen in that process, Kohli said.
I'm very happy for him and I hope he gets two more (centuries) so we can win two more games, Kohli said, calling his representative the best one-day cricketer at the moment.
Tuesday's game will be a repeat of the semi-finals of the 2008 ICC U-19 World Cup, in which India led by Kohli defeated a New Zealand with captain Kane Williamson in Kuala Lumpur.
When we meet tomorrow, I will remember you, said Kohli with a smile.
It is a very nice thing to realize that after 11 years we are recapturing our respective nations in the high level World Cup.
Kohli said he knew Williamson, also the New Zealand hitting pillar, was a special talent when he saw him play for the first time in 2007.
In a U-19 test game, he played a shot to one of our fast pitchers on the back foot. I remember that I threw away the passes and told someone that I had never seen someone play such a shot.
We always knew that he had the special ability to go to the end. He is now controlling the pace of the game for New Zealand in every game he plays.
Kohli expects Williamson, New Zealand's leading scorer in the tournament, to play a similar role on Tuesday and identified him and Ross Taylor as the key players for their players.
He has always been the main player for them, along with Ross (Taylor), Kohli said.
From our point of view, getting them soon will be crucial because we know how strong they can be together in a society.