[UK], Jun 6 (ANI): Indian skipper Virat Kohli lauded India's victory over South Africa in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in Southampton on Wednesday, terming it a 'professional effort'.
"It was a very professional effort from us, it was a low scoring game and from that point of view, we were very professional. The spinners scalped five wickets in the middle so we're very happy with the performance. It's important to create that energy and we finished off the match in a professional manner," Kohli said at the post-match ceremony.
South Africa was just able to score 227 runs in the allotted fifty overs and India easily chased down the target, owing to opener Rohit Sharma's unbeaten century.
Kohli said Sharma's in innings is the best the right-hander played in his career. With three double centuries in ODIs, Sharma seems to have impressed the skipper with his feat.
"I think in my opinion this is by far his best ODI innings because of the kind of pressure the World Cup brings. When the ball bounces, it is not easy to gather yourself and play in a calm manner. Of all the brilliant innings he has played in his ODI career so far, for me this was the best," Kohli said.
When India and South Africa last played each other in a bilateral series, the Men in Blue had outclassed the Proteas 6-1 in the seven-match ODI series. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were the key bowlers in that series and Kohli said playing the duo in tandem was a tactic to recreate the victory.
"The last time we played against them, they were not comfortable against our spinners. Their batsmen were looking to hit their way out against our spinners last time, so playing them once again was a massive factor. Kuldeep and Chahal really bowled well. Picking two wickets in a single over was a game-changing moment," Kohli said.
"The first match of the World Cup creates a lot of pressure on the team. Bumrah bowled exceptionally well in my opinion. Chahal turned the game in the middle, when I saw him for the first time in RCB, I realised he never says no to bowling in any situation. He reads the game really well, he has risen very well and all the credit goes to him," the skipper noted.
"Success in Test cricket is something which gives you immense pleasure. Bumrah's one year in Test cricket has done a world of good for him. He has the belief now to bowl consistently. He's rushing people now and I have not seen Hashim getting out the way he was dismissed today," he added.
India will next play against Australia on June 9. (ANI)