WATCH: Virat Kohli bowls after 6 years to complete injured Hardik's over
Team India is in action in the 2023 ODI World Cup, facing their Asian rivals Bangladesh at the MCA stadium in Pune today (October 19). Bangladesh, missing their regular captain Shakib Al Hasan due to a quad injury saw Najmul Hossain Shanto lead the team. After winning the toss, Shanto opted to bat first. India, hoping for an early breakthrough, suffered a significant setback when Hardik Pandya sustained an injury.
India's prominent all-rounder was injured while attempting to stop the ball during his own bowling spell in the 9th over. The physiotherapist attended to him for an extended period and despite Hardik's attempts to continue bowling after treatment, he was unable to do so. Eventually, he left the field. Nevertheless, the crowd erupted in cheers when former India captain Virat Kohli took the ball to complete Hardik's over.
Kohli delivered the remaining three balls of the over, conceding two runs.
Kohli bowls for the first time in World Cup since 2015
This marks the first occasion since the semifinal match against Australia in 2015 that Virat Kohli has bowled in a World Cup. Additionally, it's his first appearance as a bowler in ODI cricket since August 2017 against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Remarkably, in his ODI career, Virat Kohli has bowled in only 49 innings and taken four wickets. He has delivered a total of 107 overs and even managed to secure a maiden. Over the past decade, Kohli has not been a regular bowler and hasn't taken the ball in hand at all after 2017.
Due to this, the crowd was left in astonishment witnessing Kohli take up the bowling duty, resulting in a surge of cheers. The video of this moment has since become viral on social media. It remains to be seen whether the 34-year-old will continue to bowl and this will be contingent on Pandya's fitness throughout the remainder of the match.