Kohli praises team character after victory

India's Virat Kohli, second right, celebrates with teammate Hardik Pandya after their T20 international cricket match at Manuka Oval, in Canberra, Australia, Friday, Dec 4, 2020. India won the match by 11 runs. Photo: AP

Hyderabad: Team India captain Virat Kohli was delighted with the comeback against Australia to go 1-0 in the T20 series. India recorded a 11-run victory and he lauded the team’s character in tough times.

Speaking after the victory, he lauded Ravindra Jadeja and bowlers for the win. Yuzvendra Chahal, who came in as a concussion substitute for Jadeja took three wickets for 25 to bag Man of the match.

“I thought they had a great start and they were cruising at one point. But we came back strongly and bowled in the right places. Their batsmen also offered us a bit of help as their shots went straight to fielders. We showed a lot of character with ball and bat. We kept coming back into the game. We have to have character and play with your heart till the last ball when you come to Australia,” he added.

Speaking on Jadeja’s knock, he said, “He batted beautifully in the last game (third ODI) and today as well he stood for the team. Natarajan bowled very well. His skills set can be a big asset for the team. Deepak was outstanding and Washington, to bowl a 16-run spell on this wicket was fantastic. After the dropped catches, we thought the game was slipping, but Sanju brought us back in the game.”

Australian captain Aaron Finch said they let too many runs in the end. And when they batted, they struggled to get boundaries in the middle over. “We needed that little momentum. When you lose wickets, it is tough.”

Meanwhile, Chahal revealed that he came to know about his participation in the team 10 minutes before the second innings. “It is a great feeling. There was no pressure while batting as I was not in the team. Suddenly I got to know that I will play. I came to the ground and warmed-up a bit. I was fit mentally. I also learnt from my mistakes in ODIs. I bowled there with a bit of flight. But today, I have seen how Zampa bowled. I hit the wicket as it was gripping,” he added.

Sanju Samson revealed the availability of Jadeja will be known after thorough examination. “I saw him getting hit on the head in the last over. He came back to the dressing room and said he was feeling dizzy with physio. He is now under observation and they are taking care of it.”

Speaking about his role in the team, he said, “Game plan almost remains the same. You have to set a decent total while batting first. My plan was to get set and go after the bowlers.”

Having dropped a couple of catches on the field, Sanju Samson said that they were not out of the game. “I think, you have to stay in the moment. Catches can be dropped at times in the match but not thinking too much about it. It is part of the game,” he added.

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