World Cup 2019: Three takeaways for Virat Kohli from India's win over South Africa
India beat South Africa by 6 wickets in their first world cup match at Southampton. On a two-paced wicket, South Africa decided to bat first and went on to score only 227 runs for the loss of 9 wickets. India chased it down quite comfortably with the help of Rohit Sharma's match-winning knock of 122 runs.
In the first innings, South Africa didn't get the best of starts as both the openers were sent packing by Jasprit Bumrah. The middle order couldn't consolidate the innings as Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal ripped through South Africa's middle order.
Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada did do a good job later on with the bat and helped South Africa post a fighting total. During the chase, Rabada and Andile Phelukwayo got rid of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli respectively, while Rohit Sharma continued to ride his luck.
The set Indian vice-captain along with small partnerships with the middle order batsmen saw India through and start the world cup on a high note. In this slideshow, we take a look at the three takeaways Kohli could make out from this match.
#3 Jasprit Bumrah is operating at a different level right now
If this wasn't clear watching him bowl in the Indian Premier League, it surely is now. Jasprit Bumrah is operating at a different level altogether and his every bowl of his seems to be hitting the bat very hard which is a great sign for a bowler.
Against South Africa, he dismissed both the openers very early and both of them were Test match dismissals, edges caught at slip. His early burst was brilliant to watch and it only showed how lucky Kohli is as a captain to have that kind of bowler in his team.
Bumrah is going to be vital for the whole world cup and if the first match is anything to go by, any team that comes up against India would find it difficult to negotiate him.
#2 Kuldeep and Chahal are India's key wicket takers
There were many doubts over the selection of Kuldeep Yadav, especially after the strong display from Ravindra Jadeja in the practice matches but Kohli decided to stick to his guns and that move seriously paid off. On a pitch that wasn't showing any signs of turn, both the spinners picked up 5 wickets together.
Kuldeep kept it tight from one end while Yuzvendra Chahal weaved his magic from the other end, getting rid of the South African middle order. Chahal ended up picking four wickets for 51 runs off the 10 overs and Kuldeep gave away 46 runs in his 10 overs picking up 1 wicket.
If this match is taken into context, both Kuldeep and Chahal are match winners for India and both of them should play every match regardless of the conditions on offer.
#1 Experienced players step up to the plate
One thing which Kohli would have loved against South Africa was the performance from his experienced players, especially the amount of responsibility that Rohit Sharma showed on the day.
It wasn't a typical Rohit innings as he rode his luck early on and when he settled, it didn't look like he was going to throw it away. It was his slowest ODI ton and a match-winning one with 13 fours and 2 sixes. Even the composed knock from MS Dhoni would have made Kohli very happy.
Taking up responsibility is the key thing for any batsmen and Rohit did exactly that which would have delighted the captain.
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