India vs Australia: It’s very important to look ugly at times and earn victories, says Virat Kohli
India beat Australia by 8 runs in second ODI in Nagpur to take a 2-0 lead in series. Skipper Virat Kohli scored 116 off 120 balls as India was sent in and bowled out for 250 in the 49th over. Australia was in the chase until the last over when medium-pacer Vijay Shankar scalped two wickets and Australia was all out for 242 in 49.2 overs.
- BCCI (@BCCI) 5 March 2019
Reflecting on India’s triumph Kohli, while speaking at the post-match presentation, said, "I think it’s very important to look ugly at times and earn victories. There might be low totals in WC games as well. We will fight till the end, and tonight was an example of that."
"It felt good (40th ODI century), just a number. As long as I keep playing for India, I’m happy," he added.
On his fighting knock of 116, the 30-year-old said, "When I walk to bat, the situation gets difficult, I got no choice, just need to put my head down and bat. Me and Vijay Shankar had a good partnership. I’m totally exhausted now. He (Shankar) was batting outstandingly well, but was unfortunately run-out. I knew 250+ would be challenging. I was thinking about the 46th over (to go with Kedar/Shankar)."
However, it was not an easy win for India as the match went down to the wire. Vijay Shankar bowled the last over and it proved to be a good choice as he successfully defended 11 off the final over.
"I was talking with both of them (Rohit and Dhoni). If they (Bumrah and Shami) take wickets, we’ll be right in the game and that’s exactly what happened . He (Shankar) just put the ball in the right areas. He showed great composure with both bat and the ball; a good game for him. Both are experienced, it’s always nice to speak them. Rohit is the vice-captain and MS has been there for a long time. These guys watch the game so keenly. I have a word with the bowler as well, invariably all of them are on the same page."
Complementing Jasprit Bumrah for yet another phenomenal day with the ball, Kohli said, "He’s (Bumrah) a champion. He just turned the game around, he’s at the top of the rankings, he’s at the top of his game. So proud to have him on our side. Just to come through in games like these, gives great confidence."
Meanwhile, losing captain Aaron Finch said, "It was close, was one of the games that we wanted to take as deep as we can, hoping that we could get across the line. Stoinis played a really terrific inning but we couldn’t get across the line. We’ll learn. Virat was the difference in the game, if one of our main batters had done the job, we would have got across the line comfortably."