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Virat Kohli believes 3rd Test win was very important from Indian cricket team’s point of view

Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team defeated South Africa by 63 runs in third Test at Wanderers on Saturday.

cricket Updated: Jan 28, 2018 09:17 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Somshuvra Laha
Hindustan Times, Johannesburg
Virat Kohli,Indian cricket team,India vs South Africa
India captain Virat Kohli (R) celebrates with teammates after winning the third Test against South Africa at Wanderers in Johannesburg on Saturday.(AFP)

India captain Virat Kohli said winning at the Wanderers was probably the sweetest victory he was involved in though he also rated the 2014 victory at Lord’s high. Starting with selection and calling bold but right, Kohli had a lot of things going for him in this Test but more significantly this was a win where batsmen and bowlers contributed equally. And to pull it off on the most difficult pitch for batting was probably the biggest positive drawn from this Test.

“Firstly, we never complained about the tracks we played on. Secondly when we saw the pitch, we knew it’s going to be an equal chance for both sides, we decided to take the challenge head on, so it feels really, really satisfying to have won on a pitch that was supposed to have pace and bounce and it did and it played to our advantage,” said Kohli after their win on Saturday.

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“A lot of people didn’t have belief in us, but as a team we knew that we were very close in the first two Tests too, and we knew that if we played better in pressure situations than them, then we would win. And we did that in this Test match. This win was very important from our and the Indian team’s point of view, and we were determined to win this match.”

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis too credited India for capturing the key moments of this Test. “This was a fantastic series and I have to credit India for playing some really good cricket. All three Test matches that we’ve played, South Africa was on top then India was on top through so many times in the series. In the first two Tests we were relentless with our pressure. We let our guard down in this third game, and they are a quality team, they made sure they captured those opportunities,” he said.

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Expectedly, Kohli credited his bowlers for fashioning this victory. “Bowlers were outstanding, I mean, to take all the 60 wickets in the series, we haven’t done it ever before away from home. And I as said earlier, this is the biggest positive that has come out of this series. The kind of character that they showed today, it’s really praiseworthy and as a captain I feel very happy for them and for the whole team,” he said.

Kohli accepted the 2-1 result as fair though he didn’t forget to point out how they were on the ascendancy quite a few times in the previous two Tests too. Inability of closing them out resulted in this series result. “South Africa played better than us in the first two games, so they deserved to win, as I have mentioned earlier. But we deserved to win this game. They as a team know, at many moments in the first two games as well, we put them under pressure. So, it’s not like we were rolled over.

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“People really like to look at it that way. When we came to play this game, we saw banners of whitewash, 3-0 and what not. So, it feels really sweet to have made it 2-1. We believe if we had done well in the first two games, it could’ve gone either way as well. But the thing that has stood out in this game is that even after being 2-0 down, people can get really bogged down and lose hope or not show character, but this is something that is testimony to the belief we have in ourselves as a team and what the attitude we carry in every game we play,” he said.

First Published: Jan 28, 2018 08:33 IST