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All our minds and hearts are on the Australia series: Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: BCCI)

The one team that was in the best position coming to India to play a Test was Bangladesh. They knew the conditions really well and having put up solid batting show on the tour of New Zealand it wasn’t going to be easy for the Virat Kohli and his bowlers to bowl them out. The wicket at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad was a really good one for the batsmen and stayed true even on the last day.

Despite the batsmen showing a lot of resistance right through all the five Indian bowlers bowled really well to bowl them out twice. Though team India opted to bat again they would have won by an innings had they asked Bangladesh to follow-on eventually winning the match by 208 runs. Virat and coach Anil Kumble were mighty pleased with the effort of their bowlers especially the pacers on a flat wicket and playing five bowlers helped them seal the game.

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The Indian skipper was awarded Man of the Match for his 204 in the first innings and 38 in the second. In the post-match presentation, Virat said, “It was a good wicket to bat on, a good toss to win. Putting up massive runs on the board in the first innings always helps. The opposition batted well in the first innings.”

“The plan was to get into good habits like we did in the past season as well and more importantly we have a big series coming up as well. The bowlers got back into their groove before an important series and all in all a good performance. The track didn’t offer much and the bowlers found ways to get batsmen out and this was no different. The guys stuck it out, worked really hard for the wickets, had to be patient at times, did not get overexcited which was really good to see.”

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Ishant Sharma is the most experienced pacer in this unit and on the fifth day he bowled like one, the ball was reverse swinging and he charged in with a lot of steam. “Ishant’s spell in the second innings was outstanding, bowling with the soft ball and getting it to reverse at pace either way was really good to see.”

“If you have two world class spinners in your side, you can tell the fast bowlers to come and attack. The partnership between the spinners and the pacers is very heartening to watch. This game has been a revelation for us. Bhuvi bowled beautifully with the old ball which is positive for us.”

He has been in prime form right through having scored four double centuries in as many series’. The skipper has showing the batting unit light leading from the front. Talking about his own form Virat said: “It has been coming off nicely. Last year was something that I did not quite expect but it did. All I do is take every game as a fresh game, go in with the same mindset, back my skills and execute them but it is very important for me to not get ahead of myself. I am very happy with where my game stands at the moment and would like to continue this way for my team.”

When asked about the next series against Australia which will conclude the home season for the team the 28-year-old said, “I thought England was the biggest team of this season but after we won 4-0, there is a lot of expectations on us. The way we played our cricket, we would like to continue it in the future as well. All our minds and hearts are on that series already and we would like to start solidly in Pune. The crowd was outstanding over the five days. I have said it earlier as well, the crowd has always been coming in to watch us play. That pushes the players as well and it pushes us to play our brand of cricket. I hope they enjoyed our brand of cricket.”

The Bangladeshi skipper Mushfiqur Rahim would be proud of his boys, they showed a lot of character to give the No.1 team a fight and stretching the Test to almost last session of the last day. They have been doing well for some time now but need to cash in onto moments when they have the advantage to win more Test matches.

Mushfiqur said: “I thought in the past as well we have created plenty of opportunities but we never held on from there which cost us. Had we restricted them to 500-600 it would have been different. They would have needed another session for the extra 100 runs that they scored.”

“It was quite tough out there, their bowlers have a lot of variety not just with the spin but also with their pacers. They can move it both ways with the new ball as well as well as the old ball. It was a good learning performance against the number one side in the world and hopefully we would improve from here. I am very proud of my side. Even our number eight, nine and ten have showed a lot of character.” He said talking about the Indian bowlers.

The Indian lower order’s contribution with the bat has been the biggest plus for them; that now allows the team to play an extra bowler and go for an attack when the conditions are batter friendly. Mushfiqur also mentioned that saying, “We can learn a lot from India, how their lower order contributed against England. These are the little areas where we want to improve. There are a couple of matches against Sri Lanka and we’ll look to do well there. We batted over 100 overs and Mehedi in the first innings batted and bowled well. Taijul bowled well. Our fielding let us down and there is scope of improvement there. But in the entire side the belief is there that if we can compete for over five days we can compete with the big boys. Unfortunately we couldn’t do it here but hopefully in the future we would be able to do it.”

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