With the Champions Trophy looming, Virat Kohli said India won’t take their foot off the pedal in the next ODI despite taking an unassailable 2-0 lead after a 15-run win in Cuttack on Thursday.
“We were wondering if we had a good start were we would have ended up. Two of the greats stood up. Getting 381 from 25/3 was outstanding. The next game will be key for us with the Champions Trophy coming up,” said Kohli at the post-match awards ceremony. (LIVE BLOG | SCORECARD)
Virat Kohli also laid out his plan for the next ODI, in Kolkata on Sunday. “Having won the series, just before the Champions Trophy, the key will be for us to express ourselves and work out what is the best opening partnership,” said the Indian captain.
Kohli praised his bowlers for showing the grit to stick to their skills despite England batting strongly in the middle overs. “We knew we’d get wickets at some stage or the other but we bowled at the more difficult part of the day. The guys showed really good character. We pulled it back nicely in the end,” said Kohli, specially picking Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin for their efforts.
“Two guys who had a really good Test series stepped up and had we not picked up those wickets I don’t know where the game would have gone. I would say we are only at 75% of our potential,” said Kohli.
Yuvraj Singh, who starred with a superb 150, said the domestic season helped him regain form. “In the domestic season I’ve been hitting the ball well. Me and MS (Dhoni) understood the situation, we had to start again,” he said, adding that he wanted to prove a point by batting long and big.
“It’s probably by best innings. I started as a lower-order batsman, the higher you bat the more balls you get to play - 150 was a target for me. I wanted to prove a point to myself. I knew it was coming. Diet has been the key, when you pass 30 you have to work harder at your fitness,” he said.
England captain Eoin Morgan said it was disappointing to lose coming so close to winning it. “We weren’t at our best again. It’s very disappointing to get so close and not over the line,” said Morgan.
“Bowling to MS Dhoni and Yuvraj can be difficult. Your margin for error is quite small, you have to try and break the partnership. We showed a lot of fight. We believed we could chase it down. There’s a tremendous amount of belief but we didn’t quite have the skill,” he said.