Kohli lauds clinical show

Kohli lauds clinical show

Barring a few fielding lapses, India produced an extremely professional performance to thump arch-rivals Pakistan and kick-off their Champions Trophy title defence on a brilliant note.

Completely pleased, skipper Virat Kohli hailed the show as ‘clinical’ and said the short nature of the  tournament means they have to be at their best always.

“Every game in this tournament is big. So from that regard, I mean, we have a side within which, you know, a few youngsters have come in and gradually are getting towards strengthening their careers for India. So I think from that perspective and from the team's point of view, it's a massive win for us. Just the way we played and the confidence we showed throughout the game was something that was very pleasing to see as a captain,” said a delighted Kohli at the post-match press conference in Edgbaston on Sunday.

“Even though we lost the toss, guys were raring and ready to go, willing to take up the pressure. And then later on, you know, the way we batted. It's a clinical performance from us and from the team's point of view, it is indeed a very big win.”

Kohli had to make some tough choices in picking his XI as all the players merited selection. The unfortunate ones to miss a cap were R Ashwin and Mohammed Shami and Kohli said he chose to play all-rounder Hardik Pandya as he gave the team the extra seamer option. “The combination was something that we spoke about. We had named 12 yesterday (Saturday) and then we decided in the morning that the surface was hard enough for the bowlers to keep hitting good, hard length and use the bouncer every over as well to create a bit of pressure.

“And we decided to play an extra seamer against Pakistan, purely because of the fact that becomes a wicket-taking option. Throughout the innings, if you hit your areas well, in a place like England, fast bowlers always come into play with wickets.”

Kohli heaped praise on openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, both of whom were returning to the national team but laid the foundation with a century stand. “You know, opening partnership is something that's very important in England, allowing the kind of middle-order we have to come in and capitalise right from the beginning. I think the way Shikhar batted was really good to see. Rohit was taking a bit of time as he's coming back after so long to international cricket. IPL is different, but international runs are very different, against a quality bowling attack as well. Great thing that he took his time, played a long innings.”

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