‘Kohli’s put us in driver’s seat’

Mayank Agarwal

India opener Mayank Agarwal on Friday said skipper Virat Kohli’s double-century has put the hosts in the driver's seat and with the high-quality attack they possess, they are confident of taking a series-clinching 2-0 lead. 

“It (Kohli’s 254 not out) has put us in driver’s seat and its not just the amount of runs but at what pace those runs have come has made the huge difference," said Agarwal at the end of the day's press conference.

"It has given the team an extra session and half which becomes very crucial. The partnership between Virat and (Ravindra) Jadeja was fabulous and almost run a-ball 230 odd which is fabulous. If you are looking to win games, then you want to have that time to get 20 wickets. 

“With 600 on board, we can really attack. The way our bowlers are bowling, it’s tremendous. We are testing them, we are asking them those tough questions. Having 600 on board gives us that much more time, also gives the leverage to keep attacking fields and keep putting pressure on them. Having such a big score makes the difference, bowlers are bowling really tight lines. We have to see a period of 12-18 months for the kind of bowling we are doing. Test matches after Test matches, we are taking 20 wickets.”

When Pune hosted its first Test match, the game was over in three days with ICC match referee Chris Broad terming the playing surface as ‘poor’. The Maharashtra Cricket Association this time has doled out a sporting surface with something in it for the bowlers and batsman. Agarwal too complimented the pitch on offer. 

“This wicket did enough initially as there was moisture in the wicket. We also saw that in the first session yesterday and under lights. The first session today, the ball was doing quite a bit, there is always assistance for fast bowlers with new ball on this wicket. It is key that we go out there and play good cricket. When a spinner comes on, there is a bit of turn in the wicket, a batsman who gets set, gets full value for shots.”

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