Team India skipper Virat Kohli has hailed the efforts of underfire senior campaigner MS Dhoni at Adelaide. On Tuesday, the Men in Blue clinched the second ODI by six wickets of ongoing Australia vs India 2018-19 series. The wicketkeeper-batsman Dhoni smashed unbeaten 55 0ff 54 balls to help India in levelling the ongoing One-day International series one each. Kohli maintained Dhoni had done an exceptional job by taking the game to the end while chasing the target of 299 in 49.2 overs.
“Tonight was an MS classic. He takes the game till the end, when only he knows what’s going on in his mind, and he backs himself to hit those big shots at the end, Kohli told Isa Guha during a post-match presentation.
Moreover, Kohli, who was also adjudged Man of the Match for his sublime ton, is satisfied with the way Dinesh Karthik soaked in the pressure. Karthik scored unbeaten 25 off 14 deliveries, and his innings was laced with two fours.
“Hats off to Dinesh too, he came in and took the pressure off him,” Kohli said.
The 30-year-old Kohli has smashed 104 off 112 balls with the help of five fours and two sixes. He further brought up his fifth hundred in Australia to top the list alongside Kumar Sangakkara and his concurrent teammate Rohit Sharma.
Animated character Kohli has effusively praised paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar for his splendid bowling. Bhuvneshwar claimed four wickets in 10 overs after giving away 45 runs. He reiterated at one stage Australia was going good, but the two quick wickets have had thrown it open.
“We wanted to try and restrict them in the end. I thought they were going to get away from us when Maxy and Shaun were in. Getting them in two balls was brilliant. I thought 298 was par on that wicket, with the start they had. Bhuvi was outstanding to pull things back for us.
Kohli on Vijay Shankar:
Kohli asserted Vijay Shankar adds as an option in the squad and we will be looking forward to how things would shape up. Interestingly, he has expressed satisfaction while backing the five bowlers.
“Vijay Shankar is in the squad, he’s an allrounder, so that gives us an option to play around with – but we’ll see how we go. But backing five bowlers and seeing it come off is pleasing as a captain. You look for little moments to pump you up, get into the zone, and that’s what I was trying to do,” Kohli stated.
Virat Kohli calls it a tough day in the office:
Kohli recalled that Dhoni struggled in the middle amid scorching heat. But overall the unit has put up a good show. He added he was sweating profusely while batting at Adelaide, adding keeping an eye on the required run-rate altogether plays a crucial role and they did it quite well.
“I tried to stay as aware as possible in recognising the moment to strike. I thought those 2-3 overs were the moment, to bring the gap between runs and balls down. When it comes off it looks good. It was a really tough day. My pants are white with the sweat, the salts coming out. MS was tired as well, fielding for 50 overs and batting as well, it was tough. So a good day to rest and travel and recover and regroup for the MCG,” Kohli signed off.
The virtual final is set to be played on January 18 (Friday) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).