India vs Australia: Reeling at 99 for 4, Virat Kohli told Ravi Shastri ‘This is good’
"It was a difficult sort of a game."
Updated - Mar 3, 2019 11:06 am
In the last few years, nothing has been more consistent in the Indian team than their top-three. The trio of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have been the lynchpins of India’s batting. Prior to Saturday’s first ODI against Australia, India had won only three other ODIs without a half-century from their top three since the 2015 World Cup which very much makes clear the huge dependency of the team on the celebrated trio.
On Saturday, India’s top-order had a rare off day as Dhawan departed for a duck while Rohit and Kohli failed to convert their starts. Consequently, India were in a spot of bother after being reduced to 99 for 4 while chasing 237. Given the middle-order’s fragility and inconsistency, the team-management would have feared the worst. However, Kohli was a happy man as he saw it an opportunity to see how the middle-order performs.
And well, Kohli would have been very happy as the middle-order rose up the occasion and fired India to an impressive win. Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni starred with the bat, scoring unbeaten fifties en route their unbeaten 141-run stand. Jadhav, who walked away with the Man of the Match award, scored 81 while Dhoni remained unbeaten on 59.
Speaking at the end of the game, Kohli revealed how he told head coach Ravi Shastri that 99 for 4 ‘is good’ before expressing his delight over Dhoni and Jadhav’s performance.
“It was a difficult sort of a game,” Kohli said in the post-match presentation. “We did a good job with the ball. The wicket didn’t offer as much as it did under the lights, which was surprising. You have experience with MS and flair with Kedar who is also experienced now. That partnership was outstanding and it was more or less a complete performance. That set the platform.”
“At 99 for 3 (India were four down), I was speaking to Ravi [Shastri] bhai, and I said this is good. These guys have to do it and they have to get us across the line. The way Kedar and MS took responsibility, it was great to see,” he added.
Praise for bowlers:
The skipper also had a word of praise for his bowlers as he singled out the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav for their fine display in restricting the visitors to a modest 236 for 7. “Ten overs for less than 35 is brilliant on this pitch (On Jadeja). He set his fields, it was great to see. He was all geared up that ‘I’m gonna finish the game, I just want an opportunity.’ He looks in great shape and that’s good for the team.
Kuldeep’s been doing it for a while. The way Shami has come back into the white-ball set-up after his Test performances, have never seen him so lean before. He has lost 5-6 kgs. He’s running in and bowling so well. The lines and length he’s bowling; got Maxi on 40-odd out with a beautiful ball,” said Kohli.