Indian veteran batsman Yuvraj Singh feels that their emphatic 124-run win over arch-rivals Pakistan in an encounter of the Champions Trophy match here on Sunday has given them a flying start in their bid to defend the title.
Kohli's master-class from 68 balls helped India post 3-319 in their 48 overs, after their innings had desperately needed a spark.
But there was no denying the way India rose to the occasion in front of a capacity crowd as they recorded their seventh straight win over Pakistan at an International Cricket Council global event.
The biggest factor that pleased Kohli though was the clean hitting of Yuvraj Singh, who smashed a 32-ball 53, when India were looking to up the ante in between several rain-breaks. Pakistan limped to just 164 in reply to a commanding India total. Rohit Sharma (91) and Shikhar Dhawan (68) started the innings with caution scoring nine runs off the first four overs. In the bowling department, Pakistan has Mohammad Amir.
Paceman Riaz gave away 87 runs in 8.4 overs - the most expensive figures yet in the Champions Trophy - before limping off with an injured ankle.
Wahab's day was summed up when he was unable to complete his ninth over after falling awkwardly in his delivery stride.
The day started well for the Green Shirts when Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and chose to bowl first in very overcast conditions in Birmingham.More news: Warriors' Mike Brown expected to coach Game 2
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Sharma was fortunate when, on 21, he edged Amir just beyond a diving Azhar Ali at slip for four.
The rain interruptions meant a revised target of 289 from 41 overs for Pakistan, but only Azhar Ali (50 from 65 balls) offered any real resistance. Yes, Virat Kohli earned a lot of appreciation for his phenomenal captaincy but, Yuvraj Singh's unexpected performance on the field also left everyone surprised.
After the fall of openers, Kohli and Yuvraj took the innings forward. We dropped simple catches.
Hasan eventually had Yuvraj lbw on review but it was all too late.
Kohli had made 43 when he was missed by substitute Fakhar Zaman, who could not hold a top-edged hook off Wahab. He would play the role of a support cast while batting with Kohli.
After nearly a 40-minute hold-up, with the scoreboard reading 46 runs in 9.5 overs, India regrouped their strategy and started counter-attacking. For India, pacer Umesh Yadav claimed three, whereas all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja picked two wickets each. But Malik made the fatal mistake of taking Jadeja's arm lightly when he set off for a single after tapping the ball to backward point. The only hope we had was that the intermittent rain would continue and wash out the match.
Pandya, promoted ahead of Dhoni with the license to kill heaped misery on Imad Wasim, who was given the last over.