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India's Virat Kohli bowls during the World Cup match against Bangladesh at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, in Pune on Thursday. Image Credit: ICC Twitter

Pune: India superstar Virat Kohli bowled in a One Day International for the first time in six years during the Thursday’s World Cup match against Bangladesh.

Bowling gentle medium pace, Kohli conceded just two runs, a fine return given Bangladesh’s openers were starting to up the tempo after stand-in captain Najmul Hossain Shanto, leading the team in place of the injured Shakib Al Hasan, won the toss.

It was the first time Kohli had bowled at this level since a 2017 return of 0-12 in two overs against Sri Lanka in Colombo — a match where he scored 131 in a crushing 168-run win.

But there was not much Kohli could do as Bangladesh advanced to 63 without loss off the opening 10 overs.

Biggest impact player

India’s impeccable start in the World Cup has been recognised, and at the forefront is the seasoned icon Virat Kohli, emerging as the player with the most substantial influence on the field in the tournament’s first 13 days.

Kohli has a total of three catches through three matches for India — two less than tournament leaders for non-wicket-keepers Matt Henry of New Zealand and Australia veteran David Warner — but his impact out on the field reaches much further than that, ICC reports.

The India dynamo is high on the list of runs saved and pressure ratings through three matches for all teams at the event and his total of 22.30 points sees him sit on top overall for fielding impact at the World Cup.

Kohli’s closest challengers are a pair of fellow veterans, with former England captain Joe Root (four catches) and Warner (five catches) his closest rivals.

Pakistan, New Zealand, Australia and India each have two players sitting inside a star-studded top 10, while the tournament hosts have another just outside with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in 11th.

It means India are well out in front of the team ratings, with their 14 catches for the tournament thus far assisted by a total of 10 runs saved, 16 pressure acts and a quartet of good throws.

Gold Medal

India have been recorded to have only dropped two catches in the field during the opening three matches, with reigning champions England (one) the only side to have dropped less.

The tournament hosts have been awarding a ‘Gold Medal’ to their best fielder in each match of the tournament so far, with Kohli claiming the award during India’s impressive victory over five-time World Cup champions Australia at the start of the event.

All-rounder Shardul Thakur was the recipient of the award during India’s match against Afghanistan for his superb catch on the boundary that helped dismiss Rahmanullah Gurbaz, while experienced batter KL Rahul won the mantle following their clash with arch-rival Pakistan.