Cricket

If we had played for a draw, we would have lost by 150 runs: Kohli

Virat Kohli walks from the field after he was dismissed for 141 runs during the final day of their cricket test match against Australia in Adelaide, Australia on Saturday.

Virat Kohli walks from the field after he was dismissed for 141 runs during the final day of their cricket test match against Australia in Adelaide, Australia on Saturday.  

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Virat Kohli said he had played for a win and at no point told his teammates to shut shop.

He said here on Saturday, “When Vijay and I were batting, it looked like we had the upper hand. At no point did I think we had to pull out of the chase. I always believed we could do it, along with the tail as well.”

Kohli said: “If we had been able to pull this off today, it would have been one of the most special moments of my life. But I am proud of the way the boys played.”

Kohli acknowledged Australia had been better in grabbing opportunities and added the host deserved to win.

On his own batting — he scored a century in each innings here and went past the 2000-run mark in Tests — he said, “Speaking to Sachin (Tendulkar) in Mumbai was helpful as far as the mental aspect of the game was concerned, but coming to terms with myself or being at peace with myself is more of a self realisation. Here, I wasn’t thinking about milestones, only about targets.”

Attacking cricket

Kohli reiterated that he believed in attacking cricket. “I am only a little bit hurt that we could not cross the line when it looked pretty bright for us. We are not going to back off.”

He revealed that when Rohit Sharma was missing sweeps, he continued to back him to play the stroke.

“If you believe in a stroke, go for it. Rohit was sweeping and missing, I kept backing him. If you connect a couple, you connect three, we get three boundaries. That’s how we looked at the game and that’s why we came so close. If at any point we had played for a draw we would have lost by 150 runs, to be honest.”

The stand-in captain said this was the most memorable Test he had played in. “Used to think Jo’burg Test was one of the best Tests we have played. That ended in a draw.

“But I would prefer this one. I strongly believe that both teams played with the same attitude and that’s why the crowd loved it as well.

“There’s no point playing Tests where it ends in a draw in five days and both teams score 700 runs. It has to be exciting and result-oriented.”

He said Nathan Lyon was an improved bowler with greater confidence than when he had come to India.

On M.S. Dhoni returning as captain for the second Test, Kohli said: “Firstly, I will be very happy that he is fit and available. I would like to keep talking to the boys in the same manner, doesn’t matter if there is no (C) in front of my name.

“If I can chat with them when I am captain, there is no reason I cannot when I am not the skipper.

“I have enough respect and friendship in the team to go and speak to them now and then and keep them on same page. It’s my responsibility and something I will look to do even when I am not captain. That’s what the team needs at this point.”

Asked about R. Ashwin being overlooked for the Test, Kohli said, “That was my personal decision. I felt Karn was bowling better in the warm-up and practice sessions than the other spinners.”

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 7:53:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/indias-tour-of-australia-australiaindia-test-series/article6689646.ece

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