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Virat Kohli says pressure from bowlers led to fielding success vs South Africa

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli lauded his bowlers for creating pressure on the South African batsmen in their Group B match against the Proteas in the ICC Champions Trophy

icc-champions-trophy-2017 Updated: Jun 12, 2017 20:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah took two wickets each for India against South Africa in an ICC Champions Trophy 2017 match.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah took two wickets each for India against South Africa in an ICC Champions Trophy 2017 match.(AFP)

India skipper Virat Kohli had high praise for his bowlers following the team’s comfortable eight-wicket win over South Africa in their ICC Champions Trophy Group B match at The Oval on Sunday, saying pressure from them on the opposition batsmen resulted in an improved fielding display from the side.

“The pressure was built by the bowlers, and that I think resulted in, you know, those breakthroughs that we got in the field. It’s important to grab those opportunities, as well,” Kohli said, referring to the three run out dismissals during the Proteas’ innings. (India vs South Africa, ICC Champions Trophy 2017, match video highlights)

Read | Champions Trophy: You have to sometimes say things that hurt, says Virat Kohli

“You know, thinking about how we wanted to improve our fielding, I think this was something that we required, this kind of a fielding performance.

“And before going out, we had a chat in the huddle that I want to see everyone’s intensity go up, and that a conscious effort we have to make individually in such a big game, you need to start well.

“And then bowlers were on the money and that actually helps the fielders get into better positions and attack the batsmen when they know the bowler is hitting the right spot regularly,” he added.

Read | South Africa don’t deserve to be in Champions Trophy semis: Faf du Plessis

Bumrah, Bhuvi helped build pressure

Kohli said the tight opening spells from Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar at the start of the match helped in building pressure on the opponents, which eventually got India the breakthroughs.

While India had to wait till the 18th over for the opening wicket, South African subsequently failed to prevent a batting collapse, and were bowled out for 191 in 44.3 overs.

The defending champions chased down the total with eight wickets and 12 overs to spare.

“I’m sure he (Bumrah) was looking forward to it. He’s an attacking bowler, and all I said was, you know, express yourself, go for wickets. If you want to york people with the new ball, do it. If you want to bounce people, do it. This is your opportunity. The new ball does quite a bit, and you can get us a couple of breakthroughs.

“His intention was to pick up wickets and that’s where we were able to create pressure from both ends. I mean, Bhuvi as you know, is always very consistent, but I think the way Bumrah bowled, as well, really tightened things from both ends. And then 30-odd runs in ten overs was an outstanding start for us, and then we could build on from there and get those important breakthroughs.”

With Sunday’s win, Kohli-led India booked a berth in Thursday’s semifinal match against Bangladesh by virtue of topping the group.

First Published: Jun 12, 2017 16:10 IST

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