Virat Kohli opposes Sam Curran: The Indian captain openly disagreed with the ‘Man of the Match’ and ‘Man of the Series’ award winners.
India captain Virat Kohli lauded all-rounder Hardik Pandya and pacer T. Natarajan for remaining calm in the last two overs of a cliffhanger series-decided played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium tonight.
Defending 23 runs in the last three overs, India gained a significant advantage after Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave away only four runs in his last over. With Pandya and Natarajan to bowl the last two overs respectively, they made sure that England all-rounder Sam Curran didn’t convert his whirlwind maiden half-century into a match-winning innings.
“As I mentioned, when top-two teams battle, you get exciting games. England will not throw in the total at any stage. Sam [Curran] played well but we kept taking wickets to put enough pressure on them. The mindset shifted in the last couple of overs. Hardik [Pandya] and Nattu [T. Natarajan] were brilliant to finish it off,” Kohli told Star Sports during the post-match presentation ceremony.
Had it not been for multiple fielding lapses on the field by India, the match wouldn’t have went to the last over. Kohli, who himself grabbed a stunning catch to dismiss Adil Rashid, didn’t question his teammates’ intent despite them erring on the field.
“Most disappointing for the guy to drop the catch. Everyone wants to do the best for the team on the field but catches do get put down. But as individuals there’s no lack of intent and we eventually ended up crossing the line,” Kohli said.
Virat Kohli opposes Sam Curran winning ‘Man of the Match’ in 3rd ODI
Known to not mince his words, Kohli didn’t shy away from disagreeing with the match awards presented tonight. While Curran was awarded the Man of the Match award for scoring 95* (83), England opening batsman Jonny Bairstow was declared as the Man of the Series for being the highest run-scorer.
“I mean I’m surprised that he [Shardul Thakur] wasn’t the Man of the Match. Four wickets [10-0-67-4] and scoring 30 runs and Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar Kumar] another contender for Man of the Series. These guys were the difference in middle overs and powerplay,” Kohli added.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) March 28, 2021
As has been the case throughout his career, Thakur once again picked crucial wickets at crucial junctures tonight to follow his first-innings cameo. Having picked seven wickets at an average and strike rate of 22.57 and 20.1 respectively, Thakur was the highest wicket-taker in the three-match series.
Bhuvneshwar, on the other hand, finished the series as the second-highest wicket-taker with his six wickets coming at a magnificent economy rate of 4.65.