Dhoni lavish in his praise of Kohli

Dhoni lavish in his praise of Kohli

 Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni heaped praise on his deputy Virat Kohli, who while bringing up his run a ball 117, became the fastest to 7000 ODI runs (161 innings).

After Rohit Sharma’s two hundreds in the first two games, it was Kohli’s turn this time as his 24th ODI century came in a losing cause.

Dhoni lauded the progress Kohli has made in his career, having seen him from a very young age.

“He has consistently performed and improved his performance. He is the best amongst the Indian batsmen, along with Rohit in the shorter format. Today the way he paced his innings, it was slightly different to the first two games. But he reads the game really well, which I think, is very important in the middle overs. Virat is somebody that we’ll have to look up to in the future, because he’s somebody who will take the team forward for a long time,” Dhoni said.

“He (Kohli) is one youngster who has developed really well. I still remember the days when he was part of the side at first, then he was dropped and then he came back in. It was in the Sri Lanka series I remember, and he opened for us and then he batted lower down for us.

“I always felt he was a top-order batsman and once he got the chance he grabbed that opportunity. Nobody even talks about anyone else at that slot which I feel is the good part,” said Dhoni.

Talking about the outcome of match, Dhoni blamed poor fielding for the defeat.
“The three matches were close games. In the first two games we thought maybe 10-15 more runs would have been good. There was definitely pressure on our bowlers, but today the bowling was decent. We let down ourselves with our fielding. The best fielders in the group actually left quite a few deliveries and you accumulate those team runs, then the change around could have happened,” said Dhoni.

India made two changes for this must-win game, with Gurkeerat Mann and Rishi Dhawan handed debuts on account of their all-round capabilities. R Ashwin and Manish Pandey made way for them in the playing eleven.

“I thought he (Ashwin) bowled well in the last game but it was the only slot available for trade. Because we couldn’t have dropped Ravindra Jadeja and played with Gurkeerat Mann and Rishi Dhawan as that makes batting slightly difficult. We needed that extra bowler also and for that we had to leave Manish Pandey out.

“So that we could bring in Gurkeerat who could bowl 4-5 overs of spin if needed, and that was the reasoning behind it. We also wanted to see what Rishi has to offer and I felt that he bowled decently in this game. With 2-0 down in the series, this was the only game where we could have made these cha­nges,” said the skipper.


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