Virat Kohli’s Post-Match Press Remarks After The ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Final

Title-holders India, set 339 to win, collapsed to 33 for three and 54 for five against a Pakistan side they had thrashed by 124 runs in their tournament opener at Edgbaston on June 4.

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Virat Kohli had a smile on his face despite the heavy loss against Pakistan.

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli’s post-match press remarks, after his team’s defeat in the Champions Trophy final on Sunday, were widely appreciated by Pakistani fans. Kohli was not only thanked by cricket lovers from across the border but also described as a gentleman. The 28-year-old’s address after his side’s 180-run loss was even praised by the cricketing community.

“I want to congratulate Pakistan, they had an amazing tournament, the way they turned things around, speak volumes for the talent they have. They proved it again, they can upset anyone on their day, disappointing for us but I have a smile on my face because we played well to reach the final,” Kohli said.

“When players (Fakhar Zaman) like that get going on their day, it becomes really difficult to stop them because I think 80 percent of his shots were high-risk — and they were all coming off,” said Kohli.

“As a bowler and as a captain when that is happening … sometimes you have to sit and say ‘the guy is good enough on the day to tackle anything’.

“We certainly tried to make them hit in areas that we felt it would be uncomfortable, but we just didn’t have anything going our way in that partnership.”

Meanwhile, reflecting on India’s tournament as a whole, Kohli insisted: “We can (still) be very proud … and we leave here with our heads held high.

“Credit to everyone for standing up and showing that resilience and reaching the finals — (but) we were outplayed in all departments.

“In the end … you have to accept and admire sometimes the skill of the opposition,” Kohli added sportingly.

Mohammad Amir removed all of India’s top three as Pakistan routed their arch-rivals at The Oval.

Title-holders India, set 339 to win, collapsed to 33 for three and 54 for five against a Pakistan side they had thrashed by 124 runs in their tournament opener at Edgbaston on June 4.

They were eventually dismissed for 158 in reply to Pakistan’s 338 for four, which featured Zaman’s 114, the left-handed opener’s maiden one-day international hundred coming in just his fourth match at this level.

© AFP & Dattaraj Thaly, NDTV SPORTS

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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

Not Bothered That Middle & Lower Order Is Untested: Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli attends a press conference ahead of India’s semi-final against Bangladesh.

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Image Courtesy: Taiwan News

BIRMINGHAM: Law of averages is one aspect in cricket that international teams are always wary of but Virat Kohli is not bothered one bit about what may happen if the famed and in-form Indian top-order flounders in the ICC Champions Trophy semi-final against Bangladesh.

Asked if the lack of batting time for middle and lower order, after three successful league games, could pose problems, Kohli was dismissive.

“No, that’s not a concern. Obviously, as a batsman you want to finish off games, so you are not necessarily going to get out thinking my middle-order hasn’t got any game time.

“So, given an opportunity, everyone would like to finish games convincingly and, as I said everyone is batting well,” Kohli said on the eve of the match here.

For the combative Indian captain, lack of batting time during matches would only spur Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav to cash in and deliver whenever they are required.

“In the practice games, everyone has got a hit, and we know Kedar and Hardik are playing really well at the moment, so we are not bothered at all. Rather they (Kedar and Hardik) are looking for an opportunity if the team is in a bit of trouble.

“I am sure those two guys are going to step up and take the team through along with Ash (Ravichandran Ashwin) and Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) as well. Those guys are actually waiting for opportunities, and that’s a great mindset to have.

“They are not sitting comfortably thinking ‘oh these guys are going to do the job’. They are actually prepared if a crisis situation comes in… ‘we want to be the match winners’ (that) is the energy they are creating,” Kohli sounded confident.

Kohli and the current team has played a number of pressure games in ICC tournaments, but he said on a new day that will count for little.

“Yeah, we have played these kind of games before quite a few times but there are no guarantees in this sport. As we have seen in the league stages as well, a lot of teams have surprised the opposition, and we are certainly not taking anything for granted.

“We will use whatever momentum we have gained in this tournament to execute what we want to. We are not going to go according to past results and what we have done in the past tournaments. Going into a big game like this, we are going to treat it as how we treated the last game, and our mindset does not differ.”

Kohli made it clear that an unchanged XI would take on Bangladesh and Umesh Yadav will be warming the bench.

“We gave a lot of people chances in the practice games and he (Umesh) did bowl well in that game but that does not mean that you necessarily play someone who has done well against a particular opposition in a practice game.”

He was all praise for Ashwin’s performance against South Africa.

“I think Ashwin was brilliant in the last game, and I don’t see any good reason to change that. The team played really well. It was a complete performance, and I certainly don’t think that there is any need to change anything.”

Kohli was very respectful of Bangladesh as an opposition despite India enjoying a great record against them.

“It is no surprise anymore to anyone that they are doing really well, and they have really improved their cricket, and it is a credit to their set-up and the kind of players they have  now who are taking more responsibility.

“Bangladesh is a very dangerous side on their day and everyone realises that. Bangladesh have taken huge strides. I mean they are in the top-eight sides in the world. So yeah, they are a very competitive side,” Kohli side.

The one question that must have irritated him was the 2015 World Cup quarter-final controversy.

“It’s been 24 months! I seriously don’t think that anyone is thinking about that game. We have had so many matches against each other since then, and we are certainly not going out to prove a point to anyone.

“We just want to play good cricket as a side. Our opposition could be anyone. We are not really thinking about what’s happened in the past or things that go on at the international level,” Kohli said, setting the record straight.

© THE TIMES OF INDIA

Virat Kohli Reveals Why Mohammed Shami Didn’t Play Against Pakistan In ICC Champions Trophy 2017

India are likely to retain their playing XI for their next match against Sri Lanka at The Oval.

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India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday said that Mohammed Shami is the one player with the least match practice among the four fast bowlers in the squad which is why he was kept out of their opening game against Pakistan on June 4.

Shami returned to the team for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 after spending more than two years recuperating from the shoulder injury.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah are the in-form bowlers for India and hence, have been Kohli’s preferred choice.

“Shami has not played 50-over cricket for a long time and I am glad he bowled really well in the practice games. But I felt the others – Umesh, Bhuvi and Bumrah – had much more match practice and had the performances to back that up,” Kohli said at the pre-match press conference on the eve of their clash against Sri Lanka.

Kohli though made it clear that Shami is always in the scheme of things of the team and is a proven match-winner. But he will step in only if someone else gets injured.

“A bowler like Shami will always be in the scheme of things for us. He is the sort of guy who can win you games in any form of cricket. He is feeling his way back in and is certainly an asset.

“If, god forbid, something happens to someone, we have someone like Shami who’s ready to strike and has proven himself. That just shows our bench strength,” Kohli added.

Umesh was the pick of the bowlers for India in their first match against Pakistan, getting 3 wickets for 30 runs in 7.4 overs while Bhuvneshwar Kumar got one wicket. Bumrah was as usual economical in his five-over spell and helped build pressure on the Pakistani batsmen.

India are likely to go in with the same playing XI in their next match against Sri Lanka at The Oval on Thursday. A win would see the Men in Blue go through to the semi-finals alongside hosts England.

© Rohan Sen, indiatoday.in

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