In a crucial Super 4 match of the Asia Cup 2023, India’s captain Rohit Sharma revealed that KL Rahul was informed of his inclusion in the playing XI just five minutes before the toss. Despite the short notice, Rahul’s performance played a significant role as India defeated Pakistan by a commanding margin of 228 runs.

Virat Kohli’s outstanding performance and KL Rahul’s unbridled century were key factors in India’s success, as they posted a formidable total of 356/2 against their arch-rivals, Pakistan. Kohli remained unbeaten with 122 runs from 94 deliveries, while Rahul scored a fiery 111 off 106 balls.

“Virat’s innings was brilliantly paced. And then KL, last minute to get back from injury and play 5 minutes before the toss. We told him to get ready. Shows the mindset of the player. Looking at how we batted, there were lots of positives with the openers and then Virat and KL,” India captain said in a post-match presentation.

Rohit Sharma highlighted the importance of Rahul’s century in their victory and praised Kohli’s consistent and expert batting. Rahul’s comeback innings was instrumental in India’s impressive total, and it helped secure a convincing win over Pakistan. Rohit himself contributed with an attacking fifty to set the stage for the team’s success. He expressed his satisfaction with the nearly flawless effort put forth by the team.

“Fantastic performance, right from yesterday. When we started, we knew the wicket was good and we had to adjust with the rain, The two experienced (Kohli and Rahul) guys we knew they’d take time to get their eye in and then we could get going,” he attached.

Talking about Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit stated, “Looked good, he swung it both ways and he’s worked really hard for the last 8-10 months. Bumrah is only 27, for him to miss games isn’t ideal but the way he bowled showed what he is all about.”

The Indian captain also expressed gratitude to the Colombo ground staff for their exceptional efforts in ensuring the completion of the game despite multiple interruptions over the previous two days.

“We just wanted to get out on the park, to get some game time. A lot of guys haven’t had that. That could only happen thanks to a great effort from the groundsmen. I know how tough it is to cover and remove covers from the whole ground. On behalf of the entire team, we would like to thank them,” Rohit stated.

In the match, fiery centuries by Kohli and Rahul, coupled with Kuldeep Yadav’s five-wicket haul, led India to a resounding 228-run victory over their traditional rivals, Pakistan. Kuldeep’s performance was crucial in India’s win, and Pakistan’s Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf didn’t even come out to bat during their chase. With this comprehensive victory, India secured the top spot in the Asia Cup 2023 Super 4s table.

On the other hand, Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, expressed disappointment with his team’s batting performance, acknowledging that it fell short of expectations. Pakistan endured their largest defeat in one-day internationals against India, and the match had been played on a reserve day due to rain washing out most of the play on the initial scheduled day.

“Weather was not in our hands but we tried our best. We were not up to the mark with our batting and bowling. They (Indian openers) had plans for our bowlers and started well and that was followed up by Virat and Rahul. Jasprit and Siraj bowled well in the first 10 overs and swung the ball both ways, but our batting was not up to the mark,” Babar stated in the post-match presentation.


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