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HIGHLIGHTS

  • This was their third double-hundred stand in ODIs
  • The two added 219 for the second wicket against Sri Lanka in the 4th ODI
  • Only three other pairs have had as many such stands
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are two of the most dangerous batsmen in world cricket in the modern era. And luckily for India, both men are at peak of their careers.

Rohit as opener and Kohli at number three, have over the years, essayed several match-turning partnerships. They compliment each other well and there is a lot mutual respect. You ask Kohli who he would pay to watch batting, he's say Rohit Sharma without blinking an eye-lid.

Long back, the India skipper had insisted Rohit was a lot more talented. They both made it to the Indian team the same year - Rohit a few months earlier than Kohli, who was then leading the Indian under-19 team to the World Cup glory in Malaysia. A few months down the line, Kohli stormed into the international scene and within a short span of time, cemented his place in both formats while Rohit battled inconsistency, poor form and injuries.

But that is all in the past now. Kohli is captain and Rohit the vice-captain of the limited-overs sides. They are both on a roll and were involved in their third double-hundred stand in ODIs. Only three other pairs have had as many such stands: Tendulkar and Ganguly, Gambhir and (AGAIN) Kohli, Tharanga and Jayawardene.

On Thursday, the Rohit-Kohli firm was in business once again when the in-form Shikhar Dhawan fell in the second over of the Indian innings. Sri Lanka, having lost the first three ODIs, were looking to make a statement in the fourth match but that was not to be.
Kohli came out all guns blazingwhile Rohit played a flurry of delightful shots to take the game away from the hosts on a hot Colombo afternoon. The skipper slammed his 29th hundred and Rohit continued his golden run to smash his second successive hundred on the tour. The two added 219 even before Sri Lanka realised they had been outbatted and outclassed.


AP Photo


Rohit spoke to Kohli in an interview for bcci.tv and the latter was as candid as ever, crediting the long run of success to the spirit in the team. Besides, the Delhi run-machine also revealed the secret behind his success with Rohit.
Kohli normally likes chasing in the shorter formats but he surprised everyone with his decision to bat in humid conditions. It was not ideal for his bowlers to operate, the captain had said at the toss.

"It was very difficult and we decided not to run any more twos after the first 16 overs because it was so hot and humid.  Actually, it was very helpful not to focus on too many things - we were not even thinking of anyting else. We were not looking at the scoreboard and we were watching every ball. It is always a pleasure to bat with you (Rohit) anyway," Kohli said.
As simple as that sounds, it cannot be easy. Both players love to play their shots yet one holds back when the other is on a song. Sri Lanka were also at the receiving end at Eden Gardens in 2014 when Rohit hammered that world record 264. Kohli, at the other end, just watched his friend blaze away, quietly contributing 64 off 66.


AP Photo


The Indian captain and his deputy enjoy a great working relationship and they are great friends but more importantly, the two command plenty of respect in the team. Kohli feels the dressing-room environment has actually helped the side grow over the years.

"It has been amazing to lead this team. How the team gels well together, for me, is the most special thing. I think it's the hunger of all the guys in the team that's making us play this way.
"It's amazing to see guys being so hungry even after performing in one or two games. It makes my job so much easier, this team is amazing anyway. I am just placing field and everything is being done by the players," Kohli said.

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