ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Virat Kohli can't wait to play Pakistan in final
India cruised to a nine-wicket win over Bangladesh in a lopsided second semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham on Thursday, setting up a clash with arch-rivals Pakistan in the final to be played at The Oval on Sunday. Chasing 265 to win after electing to field first, the defending champions did not flinch for one moment as Rohit Sharma scored his 11th career ton (123 not out) and captain Virat Kohli notched up his 42nd fifty (96 not out) to stitch up an unbeaten 178-run partnership for the second wicket. India won the match with 59 balls to spare.
While Rohit's innings was laced with 15 fours and one six, Kohli smashed 13 boundaries. The Indian captain, in the process, became the fastest cricketer in the world to reach 8,000 runs in ODIs in just 175 innings.
Speaking after the match, Kohli said the nine-wicket demolition of Bangladesh exceeded his expectations. However, Kohli quickly played down the hype around the upcoming blockbuster Champions Trophy final against arch-rivals Pakistan.
"Another complete game. We needed to have a clean, collective game. We didn't expect to win by nine wickets, but that's the quality of our top order," Kohli said at the post-match press conference.
As expected, he was asked about the Pakistan game, and Kohli repeated what he had been saying all along.
"We're taking it as any other game, I know that's boring but that's our mindset."
The captain was not worried that India's middle order was not getting enough opportunities to have a go.
"It's never a worry when your middle order isn't batting too much. Everyone is hitting the ball magnificently in practice. It's a worry when your middle order is required to bat too early in the game, too often."
Kohli also lauded Kedar Jadhav, whose two wickets proved decisive in restricting Bangladesh to 264 for seven at the Edgbaston.
"He's not a surprise package (Kedar), he's a smart guy, he knows where to pitch the ball and see what the wicket is offering. It could have been close to 300." Asked about his own effort with the bat, Kohli said, "I wanted to give myself some time, 10-15 balls. Last time, we lost a wicket, so I had to adapt, I like those challenges. I grew in confidence. When you're coming onto the short ball, you know you're playing well."