Star batsman Virat Kohli today said that he was enjoying the responsibility of taking his side out of crunch situations as he once again guided India to another comfortable win over Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup cricket tournament here.
Kohli has been in the midst of a brilliant run of form as he hit a superb 56 not out to take India to a 5-wicket victory over Sri Lanka today, three days after his brilliant 49 had set up his side’s win over arch-rivals Pakistan.
“Touchwood, it’s coming out nicely now. It was another crunch situation (against Sri Lanka) as we were 16 for 2 in the fourth over. It’s nice to challenge yourself and I am happy to do that for the team,” Kohli said after India beat Sri Lanka to enter the Asia Cup final.
“Nuwan Kulasekara and Angelo (Mathews) were bowling well. I knew I’m striking the ball well, so I have to take the pressure off the other batsman by hitting the odd boundary, but it has to be a cricketing shot,” he added.
Asked about his stepping out of the crease quite often while batting today, Kohli said, “It was the plan, because all their seam bowlers bowl that good length. Except Chameera, the rest are all seam bowlers. It’s important not to let them bowl that length, bowl according to their strength.
“If you’re set on 25-30, the ball full of dew is a wonder, but when the ball changes you need to adjust with your bat flow and check your shot sometimes,” said Virat who was adjudged man of the match.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he was happy that the likes of Yuvraj Singh came good in the match.
“I think consistent performance is very important. In the last 9-10 T20s we have played, we have done well. It was good
to see a few of the others contributing as well,” he said.
“Yuvraj Singh’s innings was crucial, not just for this match but for the team as well, good to see him get into some good form,” Dhoni added.
Asked about the pitch, he said, “Today’s wicket was harder than some of the other wickets, but it was still a little soft, which allows the ball to grip and move around.
“It was good today, because you at least know it will be there for four overs or five overs. Overall, it was a track that was testing initially for the batsmen, but later on it was quite easy. 150-155 is a good total on this pitch.
Dhoni said the combination of three pacers and two spinners was working well for India.
“I think playing three pacers is working well for us. Both Ashwin and Jadeja are doing well and if they concede a bit of runs, they can make it up with the bat. They can contribute with the bat and that gives depth in our batting,” he said.
Yuvraj said that he “felt pretty good” to have made a contribution to the team’s win.
“I needed those hits for my confidence. Not the easiest wicket to bat on, you need to go there and give yourself some time. My job was to go and play the situation, this game and the last game. Just happy I’m hitting the ball well,” he said.
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews rued that his side were 20-25 runs short while batting first today.
“With the dew coming in, I felt like we were 20-25 runs short. But the Indians batted well, as always, and Virat was outstanding,” Mathews said.
“If the wicket was like the previous one, it would have been a fighting total, but the dew came in and the ball started sliding through. We are depending heavily on our seniors, with the side we have. The seniors need to fire, otherwise we’re in trouble.