Virat Kohli, after leading from the front to seal a three-wicket victory over England in the first ODI on Sunday, said it was India’s never-say-die attitude that brought them back into the game. The India cricket team skipper also praised Kedar Jadhav (120 off 76 balls), with whom he shared a 200-run partnership, giving credit to the young Maharashtra batsman for the win.
Virat Kohli’s first match after taking over as India’s limited-overs skipper proved quite challenging. Chasing 351 at the MCA Stadium, the hosts slumped to 63/4 in 12 overs. But Kohli (122) and Kedar Jadhav helped pull off an incredible win for India, who scored 356/7 with 11 balls to spare, to go 1-0 in the three-match series.
Kohli lauded Man of the Match Kedar Jadhav’s innings, the local batsman almost overshadowing the skipper.
“It was outstanding just to have another guy who is willing to do from any situation and have the same belief,” said the skipper, who also surpassed Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 14 centuries in successful chases.
“I would like to give Kedar the credit for this chase,” added Kohli. “He played a very calculative innings. Some of the shots he played were incredible. He told me they were instinctive. And those runs came off clean shots. That’s why we backed him at No 6. I was glad I was out there with him. He was disheartened to not take the team across the line on a couple of occasions. I told him no point thinking what you could have done. The best way is to be in the middle.”
Kohli revealed he adopted the mantra which has made him so successful in Test cricket.
“Even in Test matches, we believe we can win from any situation. It was the same today. Each and every member of the team believed we can win. There were five-six guys in the change room who did not move from their positions during the 200-run partnership between Kedar and myself,” said Kohli.
“Kedar and I had a gut feel. We thought of taking the score to 250-260. That would put England under pressure. We were disappointed to get out… we felt we could have contributed more. But from 63/4 to this, we would take it any day,” he added.
Virat Kohli will savour the victory for a long time. Kohli declared his match-winning partnership with Jadhav, one of the best partnerships he has had.
“We spoke about how to tackle the situation. The best way was to counter attack. We committed errors. The wicket was even better to bat on in the second innings. We played percentage cricket and took calculated risks. The ball also travels well here. It was one of the best partnerships I have been a part of.
“We have chased 350 before on a couple of occasions, but not from 63/4. This was something very special and will stay with me for a long time.”