His team is on the verge of being knocked out of the Asia Cup after back-to-back losses but India’s stand-in skipper Virat Kohli said he is not at all shocked by the prospect as his side is massively inexperienced even though it has shown “character”.
“I’m not shocked at all. I’m really proud of the way the boys fought it out. I’m really proud of the way the team showed character in the field and with the bowling as well. 245 against a team like Pakistan and on that wicket with the dew is not easy to defend, but I think the guys showed a lot of character,” Kohli said after the one-wicket loss to Pakistan.
“If you see the kind of batsmen they had and our bowlers with the inexperience they had, still to put up that kind of fight. I mean you see (Amit) Mishra, he gave only 28 runs in 10 overs, took two wickets, bowled brilliantly against the likes of Misbah, Hafeez, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi. So I think it was a commendable effort and I’m really, really proud of the way the guys fought it out,” Kohli said.
“If you compare the experience of our team with their team, it’s massive, it’s huge. And in International cricket it really counts a lot. You can get away with it in Twenty20, but in the 50-over format you need to show a lot of character and that’s exactly what the boys did,” he added.
Defending a modest 246, Indian bowlers, particularly Mishra (2/28 from 10 overs) and R Ashwin (3/44), took the match to the wire and Pakistan were left needing nine runs off the last four balls with one wicket in hand.
But Afridi’s big blows sealed the win which took Pakistan a step closer to the final.
Defending his decision to give Ashwin the last over, Kohli said: “I knew that if I put the seamers in before and Ashwin comes to bowl, they will go for it. Wickets are all we wanted. If Afridi and Umar Gul had just played continued…