Virat Kohli made a notable request to the crowd during the India vs. Sri Lanka World Cup 2023 match at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.

Few sights in cricket rival the spectacle of watching Virat Kohli in his element on the field. Whether he’s chasing a target under pressure or fielding near the inner circle during a defensive game, he is a showstopper. Cameras constantly focus on him, capturing every shot, his agile running between the wickets, his wristwork to steer the ball in different directions, his fielding prowess, and his spirited celebrations when India takes a wicket. Kohli is undoubtedly a cricketer who commands attention.

However, even when numerous television cameras track his every move, some moments go unnoticed, and the enthusiastic crowd takes over with their mobile phones. Such moments abounded during the India vs. Sri Lanka World Cup 2023 match at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

The crowd captured Kohli dancing to the tune of “My Name is Lakhan.” They even urged Kohli to demonstrate shadow bowling by chanting, “Kohli ko bowling do (give the ball to Kohli).” Yet, it was Kohli’s response to the persistent “Sara, Sara” chants that stole the show.

Kohli, stationed at first slip alongside Shubman Gill at second, was seemingly anticipating a catch with every ball bowled, such was the excellence of India’s fast bowling trio – Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Mohammed Shami. Bumrah and Siraj claimed wickets with their first deliveries, while Shami began an over with a double breakthrough.

Amidst these exploits, there was a brief period when Sri Lankan batsmen Charith Asalanka and Angelo Matthews offered some resistance for 6.2 overs. During this interval, Kohli and Gill were stationed side by side in the slip cordon, where the crowd came up with various chants and slogans.

Kohli took the chants directed at him in good spirits, but when the crowd started teasing Gill with ‘Sara Sara’ chants, he intervened. Kohli kindly requested the crowd to desist and then pointed towards Gill, urging them to chant his name instead. The stadium resounded with enthusiastic “Shubman Shubman” chants as Kohli encouraged the crowd with hand gestures.

The match proved to be a memorable night for India in more ways than one. Gill and Kohli crafted an impressive 189-run partnership for the second wicket after captain Rohit Sharma was dismissed on just the second ball of the game. Although both Gill (92) and Kohli (88) narrowly missed centuries, their collaboration provided India with a strong foundation.

Following that, it was Shreyas Iyer’s turn to silence the critics, which he did with aplomb by scoring 82 runs from 56 balls, including six sixes. India posted a total of 357/8.

In the subsequent innings, India’s bowlers, including Bumrah (1/8), Siraj (3/15), and Shami (5/18), wrapped up Sri Lanka’s innings in just 19.4 overs. The 1996 champions were dismissed for a mere 55 runs. India’s enormous 302-run victory secured their place in the World Cup semi-finals, and they remain the only unbeaten team in the tournament with seven consecutive wins.

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