Virat Kohli happy to kick-start India's campaign in Zimbabwe with a win

India beat Zimbabwe by six wickets in first ODI on Wednesday at Harare © AFP

Harare: Jul 24, 2013

As Virat Kohli yet again scored a century in India’s victory, the young skipper was ecstatic at starting the Zimbabwe tour in tremendous fashion.

Kohli scored a magnificent hundred in India’s comprehensive six-wicket win over the hosts while chasing a modest 228 to win.

“It’s always good to kick off a tour with a win and personally I was happy with the way I played. The ball was moving around a bit early on and it was all about percentage cricket, rotating the strike and then playing your shots at the end,” Kohli said.

Kohli had struck a century in the West Indies when he led India in the absence of regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The young skipper credited his bowlers for setting up the easy chase.

“Our bowlers did a very good job up front. The new ball was doing quite a bit in the morning and with two new balls you can’t count any team out,” he said.

Kohli also acknowledged debutant Ambati Rayudu‘s effort as he came up with an unbeaten half-century. Kohli and Rayudu added 159 runs for the third wicket.

“Congratulations to Ambati Rayudu, he’s got an India call-up after a long time and he’s grabbed his opportunity very well,” he said.

Rayudu, who played for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL), seemed a satisfied man after spending a sleepless night before making his India debut.

“It’s been a long wait for me. When I came to know about my debut, I couldn’t sleep last night. I was totally blank. My only aim today was to go out there and enjoy myself. I decided that I will play each ball on its merit. It was great to play with Virat who is the best batsman in ODI cricket. My job was to play alongside him,” he said.

Losing skipper Brendon Taylor was not disappointed with the effort of his side but wished they had scored some more runs against a formidable batting line-up.

“First hour was vital, we didn’t lose any wickets but we could have been a bit more proactive. Against a quality side like India we needed 270 on the board,” he said.

Taylor also derived satisfaction from performance of two players — opener Skinadar Raza, who scored 82 and off-spinner Prosper Utseya, who took two of the four Indian wickets that fell.

Utseya accounted for Kohli and Suresh Raina, who could not even open his account.

“Sikandar Raza played very well, showing good composure despite having hardly played any games. Prosper Utseya was good with the ball and hopefully next time we can come out and express ourselves a little better,” Taylor said.