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

Virat Kohli Dismisses Trump Comparisons With A Dig At Australian Media

Virat Kohli was compared with US President Donald Trump by sections of the Australian media.

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Bollywood and cricket stars came out in support of Virat Kohli after he was compared to Donald Trump.

Virat Kohli’s constant friction with the Australians have taken immense proportions with sections of the Australian press taking up their team’s cause and running almost a campaign against the India skipper as a backdrop to the closely-contested Test series. One of the issues that have really snowballed is Kohli being compared with US President Donald Trump by the Daily Telegraph. This has spurred widespread responses, right from Bollywood to cricketers from both sides.

Kohli himself was contemptuously dismissive of the whole thing, and took a dig at the Australian journalist in question when asked about the issue at Dharamsala, ahead of the crucial 4th Test. He said that so many people were being affected by one individual.

“I have faced this initially in my career and have faced this many times in my career,” Kohli said during the pre-match press briefing, talking about the scrutiny by the foreign media.

“I have always stuck by the right thing, have done the right thing. Always said what I wanted to because I feel it’s right. I have no regrets about it, have nothing to go back and change and the only thing is that so many people are being affected by this one individual. They are selling their news, good luck to them.

“It is something that is happening on the outside and I try and look in the inside, what are the things I improve upon as a cricketer and as a person and what my team mates think about me and what my close ones think about me. These don’t bother me, it never mattered to me,” Kohli said.

The Daily Telegraph had called Kohli ‘the Donald Trump of world sport’, a statement which generated responses from an array of people, ranging from Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan to cricket star Yuvraj Singh.

“Virat Kohli has become the Donald Trump of world sport. Just like President Trump, Kohli decided to blame the media as a means of trying to hide the egg smeared right across his face,” the article in the Daily Telegraph had said.

The acrimony between the Australian team and Kohli had become massive in Bengaluru when the India skipper stopped just short of calling rival skipper Steve Smith a cheat in the now-famous ‘brain fade’ issue.

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Virat Kohli Alleges Australians ‘Disrespected’ Indian Team Physio

While saving a run on the first day of the third Test, Virat Kohli hurt his shoulder and Farhart rushed onto the field to attain to his injury. Kohli eventually left the field with the physio.

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Virat Kohli injured his shoulder while fielding during Australia’s first innings.

Allegations and denials flew thick and fast between rival captains Virat Kohli and Steven Smith with the India skipper alleging that his team’s physio Patrick Farhart was “disrespected” by Australians during the 3rd Test in Ranchi. Kohli said that some Australians unnecessarily taunted Farhart but Smith rubbished the claim.

“They (four-five of them) started taking Patrick’s name. I don’t know why. He’s our physio. His job is to treat me. I don’t find the reason behind it. I could not understand. You must ask why they have started taking his name,” said Kohli after the Ranchi Test ended in a draw.

While saving a run on the first day of the third Test, Kohli hurt his shoulder and Farhart rushed onto the field to attain to his injury. Kohli eventually left the field with the physio.

Later Glenn Maxwell was seen mocking Kohli’s injury when he imitated his action by clutching his right shoulder after his dive to save a boundary. The Indian skipper, too, gave it back with a similar gesture when David Warner got out on Day 4.

When an Australian scribe asked about the mocking incident involving himself and Glenn Maxwell, an upset Kohli said: “It’s funny all our guys ask about cricket as the first thing and you ask about something controversial. But it’s okay. These things happen on the field.”

However Smith insisted that they never disrespected Farhart, who himself is an Australia.

“It was a bit disappointing. I didn’t actually do anything. Virat was having a go at me saying I was disrespecting Patrick Farhart. It was probably the exact opposite.

“I think he probably did a pretty terrific job to be able to get Virat back on the field after that shoulder injury. He’s a terrific physio and he obviously does a great job for them,” said Smith.

Asked about his take on the spirit of the game, Smith said: “There’s always a bit of tension when you’re playing India in Test matches. As far I’m concerned it’s being played in the right spirit on the field and it’s a hard and tough grind. That’s how I would explain it and no issues with that.”

© NDTV SPORTS

No Regrets About What I Said But Time To Move On, Says Virat Kohli

Kohli said in Ranchi that he would like to move on from Bengaluru, though he didn’t regret saying what he did.

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Virat Kohli was very vocal about the ‘brain fade’ incident post the 2nd Test.

India skipper Virat Kohli has said both the Indian and the Australian teams have moved on from the “brainfade” controversy that headlined the Bengaluru test and that rest of the series should not be played in good spirit. However, the Indian skipper would not back down from what he had said about Australian counterpart Steve Smith, though he thinks it is ‘stupid’ to go on about one thing on a daily basis since there is cricket to be played.

In his first interaction after his tirade against Smith in Bengaluru, Kohli said he did not regret what he said but at the same time he wanted to move on.

“See, I think about what I say. I don’t regret anything that I’ve said. But at the same time, it’s very important not to be stupid and go on with the same thing on a daily basis because there’s cricket to be played,” he said.

“There was a decent break in between. We certainly don’t want to sit and think about one issue all the time. We have two test matches to play and that’s what we need to focus on.”

Hailing both the Boards to call truce after ICC’s intervention, Kohli said: “It was a mature decision on everyone’s part to move on from that. We’ve seen instances in the past when it stretched too long and it just caused disharmony and there’s no (other) outcome.

“We just need to focus on the two games. You will always have two sides of the coin…that just takes the focus away from the game that we all are sitting here because of. I think it’s in the best interest of everyone that we move on and focus on the game.

“It’s not the first time in my career people have spoken about me and certainly not the last time. I would have done few things right in my career to be given the opportunity to captain the side.

“As long as you’re honest and you work hard, you are answerable to no one. Everyone has their own opinion. I’m not challenging anyone. It’s totally up to them if someone challenges me. I am not going to hold a banner saying don’t speak ill about me. It’s all part of a whole journey.”

Kohli, who had stopped short of calling Smith ‘cheat’ after their dramatic 75-run win against Australia in Bengaluru, was flooded with questions on the DRS controversy but Kohli had only one answer: Time to focus on cricket.

“A lot has been given into the incident. It’s time we focused on the remainder of the series. There’s lot of cricket to be played and it should not happen in bad taste. What’s happened in Bengaluru happened in Bengaluru, we are in Ranchi and we should look forward to tomorrow,” Kohli said at the news conference on the eve of the third Test.

“Both teams have moved ahead from Bengaluru. I think the focus should get back on the series because the priority is here cricket. All other things happen in the background, we understand that as cricketers.”

Smith’s gesture of taking help from his teammates in the dressing room for a DRS call after he was adjudged LBW by umpire Nigel Llong erupted into a controversy as Kohli at the post-match news conference did not utter the word “cheat” but said it “falls in that bracket”.

It led to an exchange between the two rival captains before ICC intervened and brokered peace without penalising anyone in what was snowballing into another controversy like the bitter monkeygate episode.

© Jaideep Ghosh, NDTV SPORTS