The captain in waiting Virat Kohli can do little wrong these days. Not only by his self confession has he changed the approach to the game and taken on more responsibility but as he said before the virtual knockout game against Australia, ‘he knows now what to ignore and what to focus on.’
As Kohli and skipper MS Dhoni galloped to an unbeaten 67 run partnership to guide India home, it was the team vice-captain who looked the most satisfied. Before the match, Kohli had spoken about working hard and job satisfaction. His 82 off 52 balls studded with nine fours and two maximums certainly ticked all the right boxes.
“It was an incredible innings. The wicket was not easy to bat on. The back of length deliveries were difficult to get away. They didn’t bowl spinners a lot that was one thing that worked in our favour. He (Kohli) was hampered during his partnership with Yuvraj, who twisted his ankle. So they couldn’t convert ones into twos and because of that maybe we had to chase one run per over more then what we have liked. But in the end it was a tremendous effort,” skipper said, heaping praise on his deputy.
At the fall of Yuvraj Singh, who despite twisting his ankle had added 45 with Kohli, India were in a bit of bother needing 67 off last six overs.
Dhoni and Kohli initially started running hard between the wicket adding more pressure on the fielders. Josh Hazlewood’s 16th over went for 12 runs. One boundary and four doubles came in that over, which Dhoni said is the key to success for any great middle order batsman.
“He is fit and batting beautifully. He can field anywhere and runs hard. In the middle overs, if you are a good runner it puts pressure on the fielders. He is the same aggressive character willing to take on challenges. I feel he is moving in the right direction. He shouldn’t lose his own character because that is what his strength is,” Dhoni added.
As India gets ready to face West Indies in the semifinals in Mumbai, Dhoni said any decision on changes and as to whether the team will need to call in a replacement for Yuvi will be taken after seeing the wicket and after receiving a detailed report from the physio.
“We will need to access the injury of Yuvi and it takes close to 24 hours to get a good opinion about injury. We will also see the wicket and will keep the replacement ready,” Dhoni said.