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'It was tough for bowlers'

Ranchi, March 21, 2017, DHNS: 0:48 IST
BRAIN FADE? Australian captain Steve Smith is bowled by Ravindra Jadeja in Ranchi on Monday. PTI

BRAIN FADE? Australian captain Steve Smith is bowled by Ravindra Jadeja in Ranchi on Monday. PTI

Virat Kohli’s reaction was one of surprise when it was pointed out to him that both R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have each bowled over 4000 balls this season. “How many, how many,” he said when he was asked about managing the workload of his bowlers. “Oh s#%t! I did not know (those numbers). That sounds a lot. We have got to see how many games we want to play them in terms of shorter formats and going forward if we have a hectic season because they are very valuable Test bowlers for us.

“That is the only way you can manage workloads because during a game, you can't think of the fact that he bowled 3,000 balls in the season and I need to make him stop because if you want to win a game, you need to push guys. So, I think it is different formats when they arrive. That is where you can manage workloads and you certainly want to look into it,” he explained. Kohli also explained the reason behind bowling Ashwin less in the first innings and bringing him late on the final day.

“No, there’s nothing wrong with Ashwin, there are no problems as such,” he said dismissing any injury concern. “You obviously want to choose ends – fast bowlers from the far end were more effective and the spinners were more effective from the commentary end. Obviously we have to understand where the game is placed, and what bowlers you want to use. Whenever Jadeja came on to bowl, he picked up a wicket every two-three overs. It was very difficult to change him at that stage because he was bowling in good momentum. So, I think, that was one of the factors. In the second innings, he bowled quite a few overs, we bowled him from both ends. It was difficult for the bowlers to generate much from the pitch,” he offered.

The skipper was all praise for Wriddhiman Saha’s century and his stand with man of the match Cheteshwar Pujara. “See Saha's knock again was brilliant for us. He's always stood up when the team needs him and this game was no different. His partnership with Pujara was the reason we had a go at winning this Test. A lot of credit goes to him also. Again, (he's) not been mentioned too much but he deserves a lot of credit. He's one guy who is always willing to do anything for the team.”

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