Virat Kohli walked back a disappointed man at Napier. He could not finish the job for India. Nevertheless his stroke-filled 123 was an outstanding innings.
The talented right-hander said here on Tuesday, “It would have been better had we won, but I am sure going forward in this series, we will bat more responsibly and get into good positions.”
Kohli said he did not try to do anything different here. “People are bowling at you at 140-145 kmph, there is not much time to decide and think later on, after the ball is bowled. Whatever you want to do, you got to read the length and commit to the shot.”
On his mindset while chasing, Kohli said: “You know how many runs you need to get and that is something I have always taken as a positive because that way I can analyse situations and figure out at what stage of the innings I need to score how many runs.”
Queried about the short-pitched stuff from the Kiwi pacemen, Kohli said: “I think a lot of teams have tried to bounce us out. Mostly the bouncer is a plan to set you up for the next ball to nick you off.”
He said a batsman needed to be balanced to play the hook or the pull. “In South Africa, I used a wide stance to have a wider base to set myself up because with bowler’s bowling at 140-145-150, you don’t have time to take your back foot back and across and pull the ball. The wide base worked for me, I could pull from the spot.”
Considering two bouncers are allowed in an over these days, Kohli said, “I think as international cricketers, we have got to be good enough to stand up to that challenge and fit enough to actually react to those deliveries. Fitness helps reflexes.”
Corey Anderson, against whom he played in the under-19 level, was praised by Kohli. “He’s a powerful guy, can hit big sixes, bowls decently and fields well too. New Zealand was without pinch-hitters after Ross Taylor but he has given that option to them now.”
Ross Taylor applauded Kohli. “He’s an outstanding talent. He’s not far away from greatness. What he does looks good even while playing against him.”
The Kiwi said he and Williamson consolidated the innings at Napier. “I thought both of us played the spinners well. We were keen to build a platform. Then Corey (Anderson) was brilliant. I played my part.”
Taylor said he needed to be more consistent in the ODIs. “But it is wonderful to be a part of this batting line-up. It has a lot of ability,” he said.
The Kiwi said Adam Milne would be missed but warned Hamish Bennett could prove a handful for the Indian batsmen. “He’s quite fast and likes to hustle the batsmen.”