Bangalore: Ecstatic after India beat England in all three formats of the game in their tour of the country, captain Virat Kohli today termed the entire series as a memorable one with a lot of positives for the national cricket team going forward.
“It’s a memorable series win for us, the whole tour. It’s been a brilliant couple of months for the Indian team, going forward we know exactly what to do in each format,” Kohli said after India beat England by 75 runs in the third and final T20 International match in Bangalore.
India had beaten England 4-0 in the five-match Test series, 2-1 in the three-game ODI contest before clinching a 2-1 win in the three T20 International matches.
Kohli paid tributes to his senior colleagues, including Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh, for their guidance in the limited overs series.
“It’s not a bad thing when you have MS Dhoni behind the stumps and experienced guys like Ashu bhai (Ashish Nehra) and Yuvi pa (Yuvraj Singh). I am new to limited overs cricket and they have been around long before me. I’m taking advice from them whenever possible, they’re so intelligent, a lot of credit goes to them,” Kohli said.
Praising Dhoni, who recently stepped down as limited overs captain and who scored 56 in India’s 202 for 6, Kohli said, “I wanted to send (Dhoni) up the order, he’s the one who says he’ll come in later, that will give the team better balance.
Come the big game, even in the one-day series, series decider, he stepped up, and he stepped up again today. He is priceless.”
Talking about Yuzvendra Chahal, who returned with amazing figures of 6/25, the captain said, “He (Chahal) knows these conditions (as he plays Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL), he knows how to bowl here, he knows the length. I have a lot of faith in him, and he plays with a lot of confidence. He has a lot of skill and he has the character as well.
“Having two leg-spinners on a dry wicket, we always knew we would get a few chances. Mishy (Amit Mishra) started it, and then Chahal took five wickets in two overs.
“Mishra’s two overs, and that one over from Jordan to Yuvi, that changed the momentum. It pushed us past 200, and that gave us the psychological advantage.”
Asked about the atmosphere at the Chinnaswamy Stadium which is also the home venue of RCB side in the IPL which he captains, Kohli said, “Coming back here after a while, a long time since we played the IPL final here. The occasion demanded us to be at our very best. We lost all three tosses, similar to the Test series as well, and we’ve won all three series.
Chahal, who was adjudged Player of the Match as well as Player of the Series, said, “It felt good because I’m playing an India match in Bangalore for the first time. It always feels like home. I’ve bowled in the Powerplay before in the IPL, and Virat has confidence in me that I can do that.
“At the start, I plan that batsmen will want to go for their shots because it’s a small ground, so I have a chance for wickets. I bowl a fuller length, so I have a chance for lbws if they miss the sweep and reverse-sweep. Never dreamed I’d get six wickets.”
England captain Eoin Morgan conceded that India deserved to win the series.
“We made a fatal error in losing two in batsman when we were going so well. Outstanding bowling from Chahal, and India put in a performance worthy of winning the series. We could have done with myself or Joe getting 70 or 80 but it wasn’t meant to be tonight,” he said.
“It was a beautiful wicket to bat on, very small boundary, and altitude as well. We would have taken 190 at the start of the game. Our batting performance was possibly the worst in the last two years, but we won’t necessarily dwell too much into that.”