Virat Kohli started the new year with a bang as he scored a century in the first ODI against Sri Lanka. Kohli scored 113 runs off 87 balls and was also named the Player of the Match for his knock. However, Kohli could not replicate the same in the second ODI as he fell after scoring only four runs. The No.3 batter was cleaned up by Lahiru Kumara early in the innings.
With Kohli falling cheaply in an important chase, many raised questions about his abilities to bat in a pressure situation. Meanwhile, the star batter received backing from former India opener Gautam Gambhir who reminded everyone of the former’s contributions to Indian cricket. Gambhir said that the batter has scored tough runs whenever the team needed him to.
"Virat Kohli is there because he is Virat Kohli. He's scored tough runs for India whenever needed,” said Gambhir on Star Sports.
Coming to the match, it was a good performance from the Men in Blue as defeated Sri Lanka by 4 wickets to seal the three-match series. India have taken an unassailable lead of 2-0. After being asked to bowl first, India bundled out Sri Lanka for 215. Mohammed Siraj and Kuldeep Yadav bagged three wickets each. With the bat, KL Rahul starred as he scored an unbeaten 64. Hardik Pandya too chipped in with a handy 36. Shreyas Iyer (28), Axar Patel (21), and Shubman Gill (21) also made contributions.
India captain Rohit Sharma was delighted at his team's performance as he heaped praise on his players. " It was a close game but games like these teach you a lot. We had to build innings under pressure. KL has been batting at five for a long period of time now and it gives us depth. Gives you confidence as well at the top of the order for us to go and bat freely. It was a good display of batsmanship," said Sharma.