Triumphant Kohli showers praise on his bowlers

Triumphant Kohli showers praise on his bowlers

For the ninth Test in a row at home this marathon season, India played on a pitch that didn't offer them any special benefits. And for the eighth time they showed that they didn’t need tailor made surfaces to fashion a win, their resourceful bowling attack getting the job done yet again through brain and brawn.

Virat Kohli, who won his 15th Test as a captain in 23 games, heaped praise on his fast bowlers, who used the reverse swing to telling effect on a Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium track that aided batting until the end. “(The bowlers were) very good, considering that wicket was very good to bat on.

I thought Umesh (Yadav), Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and Ishant (Sharma) were brilliant but Umesh stood out in the first innings. Second innings all three bowled really well and Ishant stood out. The quality of our spinners allows our fast bowlers to attack. Because of the way spinners bowl and contain runs, the pacers can really attack as soon as it starts reverse swinging. I thought today Ishant’s spell was really good, bowled with pace and had to put in effort to take wickets at that stage and he took both the set batsmen out. That was really good for us,” said Kohli.

The skipper felt Bhuvneshwar’s ability to bowl well with old ball has further enhanced the team’s chances. “The way Bhuvi has bowled in the last few games he has played, with the old ball (has been good). It’s all because his fitness levels have increased. Having more strength in the body, he’s been able to put more pace on the ball which is key for reverse swing. The other guys, naturally, have more pace than him. I think Bhuvi has stepped up the game with the old ball too.

“Again, as I said, it gives us a lot of options. You won't hesitate playing Bhuvi on any sort of wicket if he keeps bowling like that and produces reverse swing. Credit to him, he’s working on that aspect of the bowling.”

In a match of positives, Kohli still felt that there is scope for improvement. “The only thing we could have done better is close the second innings quickly. I think there was a bit of lapse in body language when they were eight (wickets) down. We should have taken those chances and finished off the game early, 45 minutes before the time we actually did. I think those are the things we can take away from this game. Closing off games is important, especially in Test cricket.”

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