Satisfying to pull out a draw: Kohli

Satisfying to pull out a draw: Kohli

Satisfying to pull out a draw: Kohli

Virat Kohli enjoyed great run as a batsman in the four-Test series against Australia but hanging on to a tense draw in his first match as a full-time Test captain would have given him as much satisfaction.

 This is only the fifth draw that India have managed in 13 away Tests this year. The Indian skipper shared his thoughts on the drawn match and series with the media on Saturday. Excerpts.   

On if he is satisfied with performance in the final Test: It has been very satisfying to see people like Ajinkya (Rahane), (KL) Rahul, M Vijay and Rohit Sharma stepping up at the right time and showing a lot of character and composure and make runs against some very good bowling by the Australians. The team showed a lot of character especially in the second innings when I thought the wicket wasn’t easy to bat on. The guys again stood there and dug it out and pulled out a draw which is satisfying as of now.

On his emotions after the draw: It was a feeling where you have forced the opposition to earn their victory. We pulled them till the end on three occasions in this series, two were losses and one was a draw which could have gone either way. I was sitting there and only thinking if the series would have been one-all how much more pleasing those last moments would have felt but really proud of the way we have played in this series.

On when did they give up chasing: I thought it was worth taking that risk (of going for victory). We are not coming back here for a while so there is no point not trying. The first intention was to go for the target. But I think we didn’t get the kind of momentum we got in Adelaide because of the way Australia bowled in this innings. We couldn’t keep up with the rate and it dropped quite a bit and eventually asking rate went up to six and a half in the end.

So it was a matter of not thinking too much. There was a sense of hanging in throughout but it wasn’t as clear as it was in Adelaide because of the way Australia bowled and credit to them for bowling the way they did throughout the innings and made it very difficult for us.

On if India would have done with an extra spinner: No. I had three part-time spinners. I knew the wicket was going to be funny on day four and day five, but I didn’t expect it to be that slow, especially for the fast bowlers.

I knew there would be turn and bounce for the spinners, but it was surprisingly slow for the fast bowlers. The ball stopped and came on, which was surprising. I went in with a combination where I had three off-spinners knowing they (Australians) would want to create rough for their off-spinners, trying to take as much advantage from that rough, but I reckon they batted really well in the second innings.

 score board

AUSTRALIA (I Innings): 572/7 declared
INDIA (I Innings): 475 all out
AUSTRALIA (II Innings; O/n: 251/6): 251/6 declared
INDIA (II Innings):
Vijay c Haddin b Hazlewood     80
(257m, 165b, 7x4, 2x6)
Rahul c Warner b Lyon     16
(56m, 40b, 3x4)
Rohit c Smith b Watson     39
(102m, 90b, 2x4, 2x6)
Kohli c Watson b Starc     46
(123m, 95b, 3x4)
Rahane (not out)    38
(126m, 88b, 5x4)
Raina lbw Starc     0
(6m, 3b)
Saha lbw Lyon     0
(10m, 6b)
Ashwin lbw Hazlewood     1
(30m, 22b)
Bhuvneshwar (not out)     20
(49m, 30b, 3x4)
Extras (B-4, LB-8)     12
Total (for 7 wkts, 89.5 overs)     252
Fall of wickets: 1-48 (Rahul), 2-104 (Rohit), 3-178 (Vijay), 4-201 (Kohli), 5-203 (Raina), 6-208 (Saha).
Bowling: Mitchell Starc 19-7-36-2, Ryan Harris 13-3-34-0, Nathan Lyon 30.5-5-110-2, Josh Hazlewood 17-7-31-2, Steve Smith 2-0-7-0, Shane Watson 8-2-22-1

STATS WATCH

n Nathan Lyon has claimed 23 wickets at an average of 34.82 - his career-best performance in a Test rubber, eclipsing the 19 (ave.29.36) in five Tests vs England in 2013-14.
n Lyon has conceded 100 runs or more in the series six times. The last bowler to achieve this dubious distinction was India’s Subhash Gupte vs WI in 1958-59.
n In only eight Tests in Australia, Virat Kohli has aggregated 992 runs at 62.00, including five hundreds and two fifties. His tally is the fourth highest by an Indian batsman vs Australia in Australia, joining Sachin Tendulkar - 1809 (ave.53.20) in 20 Tests, VVS Laxman - 1236 (ave.44.14) in 15 Tests and Rahul Dravid - 1143 (ave.43.96) in 15 Tests.
n Suresh Raina has posted a PAIR vs Australia. He had registered his first pair vs England at The Oval in 2011.  He has not scored in his last three Test innings.  During his last seven innings, he has posted five ducks. 

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