Kohli discloses what MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma told: The Indian captain was vocal about the nerve-wrenching victory vs Australia.
During the second ODI of the ongoing Australia’s tour of India at Nagpur, India defeated Australia by eight runs in a cliffhanger of a cricket match. Having earlier won the first ODI at Hyderabad, the hosts are now 2-0 up in the five-match series.
A 251-run target wasn’t something which had spoken of an Indian victory at the halfway mark. However, disciplined bowling brought them back in the match. With Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis batting in the middle, an Indian victory was only confirmed on the last ball of the match.
Earlier, it was an incredible 40th ODI hundred from India captain Virat Kohli which saw them posting 250-10 in 48.2 overs. Out of these 250 runs, 248 had come with Kohli in the middle.
Speaking during the post-match presentation ceremony, Kohli put scoring 40th ODI century in India’s 500th ODI win as mere numbers. The Indian skipper also disclosed that he feels proud of how the team played during the second innings.
“It felt good [to get to 40 ODI hundreds]. It’s just a number, but it feels good to win games for India. When I walk in to bat, when the situation gets difficult, I have no choice but to put my head down and bat through the innings.
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) March 5, 2019
Jadhav played the role of a fifth bowler to perfection. The wicket of Khawaja. Bumrah did what he does for fun—just too good. #IndvAus
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) March 5, 2019
“Exhausted right now. Been on the field for almost 100 overs. I’m more proud of our second innings than our first,” Kohli was quoted as saying.
Kohli expresses admiration for Shankar
During the business end of the match, Kohli faced a major conundrum in sneaking in one over from either one out of Vijay Shankar or Kedar Jadhav. Being asked about the same, he disclosed that the it was suggestions from vice-captain Rohit Sharma and wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni which aided him during the slog overs.
“Vijay Shankar batted outstandingly, but he was unfortunately run out and we lost Kedar and MS in quick succession. I was thinking of using Vijay in the 46th over, but I spoke to Rohit and MS, and they said, let’s stick with Shami and Bumrah, and if they get some wickets we’re on top, and that’s exactly what happened,” Kohli said.
Earlier in the second innings, Shankar’s only over had seen him leaking 13 runs and not getting another over till the last over of the match. On the first ball of the last over, Shankar found Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis wanting in front of the stumps.
In what almost confirmed the Indian victory, Shankar also dismissed Adam Zampa to win the match for India. Kohli was wax lyrical about the 28-year old cricketer and also hailed the presence of Dhoni in such situations.
— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) March 5, 2019
Stellar performances, exceptional teamwork! 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/foViGqKP82
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) March 5, 2019
“Vijay kept it stump-to-stump, kept it simple, and it worked. It’s always nice to speak to Rohit, he’s the vice captain, MS has been around for so long, and you go and speak to the bowler as well. Invariably they’re all on the same page,” Kohli added.
“Bumrah is a Champion”
While Kuldeep Yadav (10-0-54-3) was pick of the Indian bowlers, the real impact was generated by fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah. In the 10 overs which he bowled, he gave away only 29 runs. Furthermore, him dismissing Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins in one over changed the game for his team.
Being asked about Bumrah delivering in such situations time and again, Kohli claimed him to be a “Champion”. Moreover, Kohli also laid emphasis on learning from such low-scoring matches for India might come across one during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
“Bumrah is a champion, two wickets in an over, just turned the game, happy to have him in our team. Just coming through these kinds of games gives us confident. It’s important to look ugly at times, and come through and win. We might get these low-scoring games in the World Cup as well. This kind of a pitch was tailormade for Kedar Jadhav, he was actually keen to bowl the last over as well,” Kohli concluded.