Virat Kohli Credits MS Dhoni For This Tactical Move vs Bangladesh

Virat Kohli credited former India captain MS Dhoni for the decision to bring in Kedar Jadhav at the crucial juncture.

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India decimated Bangladesh by nine wickets in the second semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 at Edgbaston on Thursday to set up title clash against Pakistan. The defending champions chased down the 265-run target in 40.1 overs as the Bangladesh bowlers were sent on a leather hunt by the all-star Indian batting line-up. Though Bangladesh were going great guns at one stage with 154/2 after 28 overs, they lost the plot in the middle overs. Indian skipper Virat Kohli took a gamble to bring in Kedar Jadhav to bowl which worked well. Jadhav gave India the breakthrough in his second over itself which helped the defending champions peg Bangladesh back.

Kohli, during the post match press-conference, credited former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the decision to bring in the off-spinner at the crucial juncture. Kohli said that the game-changing decision was jointly taken by him and Dhoni. Jadhav dismissed set batsmen Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim after their 121-run stand to get India back on track in the match.

“Yeah, when moves like this pay off, I won’t take the whole credit. Obviously, I asked MS, as well, and we both decided that Kedar is a good option at the moment, and he bowled really well. Credit to him.

“Kedar doesn’t bowl much in the nets, but he is a smart cricketer. He knows where the batsmen get troubled, and if you can think like a batter when you are bowling, it’s obviously a bit of an advantage to any bowler. So I think that today he executed plans perfectly.”

Kohli was effusive in his praise for his new ball bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

“Well, they were outstanding. Especially, the last two games they have been terrific initially and in the later stages, as well, their wicket-taking ability is something that the opposition is aware of.

“So they are always careful going hard against these two guys, and yeah, their length after the Sri Lanka game has been impeccable. It’s been consistent, line close to the batsmen, always there with an opportunity to get a wicket, as I mentioned.

“Even in conditions which are not offering too much, bowling such lines that we can produce wicket-taking opportunities,” said Kohli.

© PTI & Abhishek Mahajan, NDTV SPORTS

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Felt Like A Club Batter In Front Of Yuvraj Singh: Virat Kohli

Yuvraj Singh took pressure off when I couldn’t get runs: Virat Kohli.

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BIRMINGHAM: Indian captain Virat Kohli on Sunday said he “felt like a club batter” when teammate Yuvraj Singh was in full flow during the ICC Champions Trophy match against Pakistan.

Defending champions India started their campaign with a resounding 124-run victory over Pakistan.

Kohli and Yuvraj stood out in an all-round batting effort, propelling India to 319 for three after rain halted proceedings twice. Yuvraj smashed 53 off 32 balls.

“Yuvi took pressure off when I couldn’t get runs. The way he was hitting the ball, I felt like a club batter in front of him,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference.

While he was pleased with the win, Kohli was not impressed with India’s fielding.

“With the bat and ball, right up there – I would say nine out of 10. In the field we were still 6 today. Very strong performance, we’ve taken the confidence from the practice games.

“We need to tighten our fielding to compete hard against the best teams.”

The Indian batsmen remained focussed despite the rain breaks with Rohit Sharma (91 off 119), Shikhar Dhawan (68 off 65), Kohli (81 not out off 68) and Yuvraj (53 off 32) rising to the occasion in a game reduced to 48 overs a side.

Kohli said, “Quite delighted with all batsmen chipping in with runs. Shikhar and Rohit – last time we won here, the opening partnership was crucial. Rohit took some time going, but he’s coming back from an injury, and international cricket is different to IPL.

“And Hardik, 18 off five balls, was outstanding. We went with four seamers purely because we’re playing Pakistan. They play spin really well, and most of them are right-handers.

“In pressure situations, to have mid-on, mid-off up and hit hard lengths, gives us an advantage. Against other sides, we might use two spinners, depending on their strengths.”

Man of the Match Yuvraj was happy that he could capitalise on the chances offered by the Pakistanis.

“I thought we all batted really well. The openers gave us a good start, Virat finished well, and it gave me the opportunity to go and attack. You just have to go and back yourself, and tell the opposition that you’re here to attack.

“I was lucky I was dropped, but I capitalised and I was hitting it well. I finished well. India-Pakistan is always a big game, and I think it has set us up really well. Hopefully we’ll take this confidence into the next game against Sri Lanka.”

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed felt his side lost the plot in the last overs of the Indian innings.

“Everything was under control after 40 overs, but we lost the plot in the last eight. Credit to India’s batsmen. They scored 124 in those last eight, and the momentum went to India. I think we need to stick together and control our bowling rate, especially last few overs,” a disappointed Sarfraz said.

© THE TIMES OF INDIA

We Want To Win Remaining Matches Of Australia Tour

India is yet to register a win in their ongoing 5-match ODI series against Australia.

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Sydney: Unfazed despite four successive defeats, a defiant Virat Kohli today insisted that the Indian cricket team is “not mentally bogged down” and said it would like to win the next four matches, including tomorrow’s final ODI, to cap the tour of Australia on a positive note. The star batsman said that despite lagging 4-0 in the current ODI series, the Indian team’s morale is still up. India play the hosts in a three-match T20 series after the ODI series concludes with the fifth and final game here tomorrow. ”If we were mentally bogged down we wouldn’t be able to compete at all. We just have to be smarter about chasing down totals. If the results were different, there would be different questions and different debates. But we have to respect this result and Australia are a tough side, and they know these conditions better,” Kohli said at the pre-match press conference.

“They are on a streak of winning 18 games at home. So we need some extra bit of experience in such conditions. We would like to learn because we have to keep coming back here and we want to do well here. Morale is the same as we came here two weeks ago.

Everyone is still trying and working hard. We have believed in the four games that we can cross the line at any stage. We always knew that but we haven’t been able to execute that. We have a game tomorrow and still have three T20Is. We would like to finish strongly, and win all these games left. So we are looking at these four games rather than two series separately because we will feel much better about ourselves, if we do well from here on.”

Kohli, who has smashed two centuries on the tour, felt the team failed to capitalise on important moments. “We have played good cricket so far, but we have not capitalised on important moments. Still I feel we have been very competitive on the field. In international cricket it is all about capitalising on those moments which Australia has done better than us. If you see the four matches so far, results could have gone either way.

“That is something we have really lacked. We haven’t been able to close the games off and we need to learn this in international cricket. Next time I am certain this happens, guys will have learnt to do so because no one wants to tour abroad and lose games after playing well. It hurts even more. If you are not playing well it is a different story but when you are playing good cricket, it hurts more that you are not able to cross the finish line.”

© CRICKET COUNTRY