Virat Kohli, KL Rahul register India's first 100-run opening stand this Asia Cup

Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan (L) and Indias stand-in captain KL Rahul (R) (Photo/AFP)
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Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan (L) and India's stand-in captain KL Rahul (R) (Photo/AFP)

Highlights

  • Rahul is India’s stand-in captain against Afghanistan
  • Rohit Sharma wanted to take a break
  • India are already out of the Asia Cup 2022

Virat Kohli on Thursday scored his third half-century for India in the ongoing Asia Cup. Kohli's third fifty came against Afghanistan, which was also India's final outing in the Asia Cup.

Kohli scored an unbeaten 59 in India's 40-run win over Hong Kong before he scored a 60 in his side's loss against Pakistan in the Super Four round.

The talented batsman on Thursday opened the innings along with KL Rahul, who also reached the 50-run mark. Rahul, is India's stand-in skipper in Rohit Sharma's absence, struck two sixes and six fours in his knock of 62 off 41 deliveries.

Rahul and Kohli registered India's first 100-run opening stand in the underway tournament in the UAE. The duo put up 100 runs for the first wicket in just 69 balls after Afghanistan won the toss and asked India to bat at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Afghanistan medium pacer Fareed Ahmad broke the stand as he removed Rahul in the 13th over. Suryakumar Yadav, who came out at No. 3 and went off the mark with a six, was sent back to the pavilion on the final ball of the over.

Earlier at the toss, Rahul revealed that Rohit missed out on the final game as the India captain wanted a break.

After Afghanistan asked India to bat, stand-in captain Rahul said," We wanted to bat first. We want to challenge ourselves as a batting unit. Rohit wants to take a break, playing back-to-back is not easy in these conditions. Yuzi (Chahal), Rohit and Hardik miss out. Chahar, Karthik and Axar come in.

Even coming into this tournament, we had the T20 World Cup in mind. It's a good learning for us to play such a tournament before the World Cup. We have learnt a few things from the losses. We are trying to finalise the roles that each individual will play in the World Cup."

India's elimination from the Asia Cup has raised several questions about their chances at the T20 World Cup, which is due to begin next month in Australia.

Asia Cup: A few losses do not make us a terrible team, says Rahul Dravid

India's head coach Rahul Dravid said that Rohit and the entire team are relaxed and a few losses do not make them a terrible team.

"I see my role as a support to the captain and the team. Helping the team to get the best out of themselves. But once they are on the field, it's upto the players and the captain to execute their plans and take the team forward. I think Rohit is pretty relaxed, and pretty much the whole team is. You got to put things in perspective.

We lost a couple of games on a pitch, on a ground that has not been easy to defend on. Just because we have lost a couple of games, it doesn't mean we are a terrible team. I think we don't need to overreact with things. It's a balanced environment, whether we win or we lose. We keep going on the same path, the journey continues," added Dravid in an interview before India's game on Thursday went underway.

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