Mirpur (Bangladesh): Star India batsman Virat Kohli believes his match-winning 49-run knock against arch-rivals Pakistan, which helped his team successfully chase down a tricky total, was a great learning experience for him on how to build an innings in tough situations.
Both teams struggled to bat on a greenish wicket at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium here on Saturday with uneven bounce in the Asia Cup Twenty20 International. Indian bowlers justified captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to field by bundling out Pakistan for a mere 83 runs in 17.3 overs.
Indian batsmen then braved some excellent bowling by Pakistan pacers to overhaul the target in 15.3 overs with five wickets in hand.
“It is a learning for me personally to play on these kind of pitches and learn how to build an innings. You cannot learn anywhere better than out in the middle when you are in that situation and dealing with it. There is no better lesson than that,” Kohli was quoted as saying by bcci.tv on Sunday.
“Definitely it was a very challenging knock. Chasing a low total is always tricky when you are three down for eight runs with the ball swinging around with pace. It is never easy to go and dig in and create an innings from there.”
Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir bowled superbly to finish with figures of 3/18, clinching the wickets of Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina.
“Hats off to the way the Pakistan bowlers bowled – especially Mohammad Amir. It was a pleasure playing that spell; that tested me out completely. To come out of that, it gives me a lot of confidence as a batsman. I am just delighted that I could contribute to the team’s success and winning high pressure games is always nice,” India’s Test skipper said.
“It was just about keeping the scoreboard ticking and not giving away wickets. But my intent was always positive. If I had some deliveries that were loose, I went after them playing correct cricketing shots which was very important on this pitch.”
The 27-year-old also praised teammate Hardik Pandya, who returned with figures of 3/8 while fellow pacers Ashish Nehra (1/20) and Jasprit Bumrah (1/8) also made good use of the green top. Spinner Ravindra Jadeja (2/11) also bowled well.
“The way the bowlers started off the innings was brilliant. Nehra picked up a wicket in the very first over and then Bumrah came in and did the job too. There were a couple of run-outs as well, so it was a complete bowling and fielding effort,” he said.
“All in all, it was a wonderful game for us. It tested the batsmen a bit but that is what you need, you need challenges in every game that you play. You don’t want to get complacent as a team and you got to respect the opposition and the conditions which is exactly what happened today.”