- India started their Champions Trophy campaign with a comprehensive 124-run victory over Pakistan
- Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh starred, propelling India to 319/3
- Yuvraj stood out despite the all-round batting effort, and Kohli thanked the veteran all-rounder
Indian captain Virat Kohli has hailed Yuvraj Singh after India's win over Pakistan in their ICC Champions Trophy match in Birmingham on Sunday, describing the veteran's innings as the "game-changer".
Defending champions India started the campaign with a comprehensive 124-run victory over archrivals Pakistan. All the Indian batsmen starred, with Rohit Sharma (91 off 119), Shikhar Dhawan (68 off 65), Kohli (81 not out off 68) and Yuvraj (53 off 32) rising to the occasion in a rain-hit game, to propel India to 319/3 in 48 overs. The Indian bowlers soon joined the party and Pakistan folded up for 164 33.4 overs.
However, Yuvraj's innings stood out despite the team's all-round effort, and Kohli thanked his senior teammate for taking the pressure off him when he wasn't middling the ball well.
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"Yuvi took pressure off when I couldn't get runs. The way he was hitting the ball, I felt like a club batter in front of him," PTI quoted Kohli as saying in the post-match press conference. "The way Yuvi batted, it was a game-changing innings and that gave all of us the confidence to start striking the ball well. Initially, the openers gave us a good start. It was a clinical performance from us and from the team's point of view, it is indeed a very big win," the Indian captain added.
Man of the Match Yuvraj, who was dropped before he got into double figures, said he was happy that he could capitalise on the life offered by Pakistan.
"I thought we all batted really well. The openers gave us a good start, Virat finished well, and it gave me the opportunity to go and attack. You just have to go and back yourself, and tell the opposition that you're here to attack. I was lucky I was dropped, but I capitalised and I was hitting it well. I finished well. India vs Pakistan is always a big game, and I think it has set us up really well. Hopefully we'll take this confidence into the next game against Sri Lanka," Yuvraj pointed out.
Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, on the other hand, felt his side lost the plot in the last overs of the Indian innings.
"Everything was under control after 40 overs, but we lost the plot in the last eight. Credit to India's batsmen. They scored 124 in those last eight, and the momentum went to India. I think we need to stick together and control our bowling rate, especially last few overs," the wicket-keeper batsman stressed.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 7:02 PM