India leveled the three-match series against Australia after beating the visitors by 36 runs in the second one-day international on Friday. After being asked to bat first, the home team put up a mammoth 340/6 with half-centuries from Shikhar Dhawan (96), Lokesh Rahul (80), and captain Virat Kohli (78). Defending the target, Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep got crucial breakthroughs as the home team was in cruise control by the 40th over in the run-chase.
In Mumbai, Kohli had taken the decision to demote himself down the order to accommodate Dhawan and Rahul but that had led to a rare batting collapse for team India. In Rajkot, the Indian captain was back to where he belongs at number three and scored a brisk knock to set up the platform for a match-winning total of 340.
However, speaking at the post-match press conference, Kohli said that the panic button was pressed to early and the Indian think tank was certainly not in the same mode.
“We live in the days of social media and the panic button was pressed too early. It’s important to not leave someone like KL out. You saw how he batted today. This is probably the best he’s played at the international level. The knock showed maturity and class, and we know exactly what we’re doing in the dressing room. Important couple of games for Shikhar,” Kphli said.
“He was injured for a long time and in ODIs he’s been one of our most consistent and aggressive performers, and he can change the situation for the team. It augurs well when the two openers are so good together. Rohit’s left shoulder has popped out of few times, and he should be good to go in the next game.”
“I asked the bowlers what they wanted to do and they said this was the time to execute the yorkers. All three of them were really good with the yorkers, particularly Shami who changed everything in that over. KL is becoming a multi-dimensional player, and it’s really great when players step up like this.”
Meanwhile, losing skipper, Aaron Finch said: “I think we were one wicket shy of where we needed to be throughout the bowling innings, but they’re world class. Zampa’s length has been fantastic so far. The way Smithy started today, and nearly got through to the end, but not quite. Marnus and Smith, the only time they’re apart is when they’re asleep.”
“I think on these tracks, it’s important to capitalize when the batsman gets in. We were always just one more wicket down than what we’d have liked at any stage of the chase and that’s when the required rate started getting out of reach.”
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