| Centurions Nasir Jamshed (left) and Mohammed Hafeez
in Dhaka, on Sunday. (Reuters) |
Dhaka: Just a few days ago, in Australia, India were forced into a situation where they needed to chase 300-plus runs in 40 overs or be knocked out of the tri-series. They did that successfully.
On Sunday, in Dhaka, it was almost a similar situation. Pakistan had stacked a mammoth 329 for six on the board and India had a tough job to achieve against a bowling attack who were in no way pushovers. Mahendra Singh Dhonis boys achieved the target successfully once again.
The common factor in both the cases was one Virat Kohli. Powered by the flamboyance of talent and energy of youth, Kohli was brilliant then and was even better on Sunday.
The one striking aspect of the Kohli show was his shot-making, which was never forced and yet had the force to blow away the Pakistan bowlers. Dhoni pointed that out during his post-match speech, at the presentation ceremony.
I am very pleased with Virats innings… It never looked that he slogged any deliveries. He played proper cricketing shots, Dhoni said.
The job was not at all easy at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium and Dhoni admitted that. Once you cross 300-run mark, it always becomes a difficult chase, irrespective of how flat the pitch is, he said.
But does that mean Dhoni was not confident of a victory? Certainly not. The captain spoke about the Hobart chase to make his point.
We had chased above 300 runs recently in Hobart, which means that we have got the potential. We all knew that the wicket is very good to bat on… But, as I said, you still have to apply yourselves and pick the right deliveries to play the big shots. I think we did it really well over here and will look to continue doing it.
However, he was not happy for giving away so many runs to the Pakistanis. He admitted, though, that the Pakistan batsmen, too, batted brilliantly and that the Indians were left helpless.
As a skipper, you cannot do much when your opposition is batting like that. They were brilliant. We used eight bowlers and when you use eight bowlers it means things are not going your way, Dhoni said.
Dhoni had a word of praise for all his batsmen who contributed on Sunday. Apart from Kholi, Dhoni singled out Rohit Sharma for special mention.
It was a good wicket… Under the lights, the wicket only gets better. But you also need to bat well and need partnerships. I thought once Gautam Gambhir got out, Sachin and Virat batted brilliantly. Rohit, too, played a very important innings.
He is someone who can really be a good finisher. He remains calm and is cool in difficult conditions. Overall, it was a fantastic effort, Dhoni summed up.
The Indian team has been at the receiving end of endless criticism in the last few months. After Sundays thumping win, Dhoni reminded that much more can be expected from his young team.
As I have always said, we have got the talent in the batting and bowling departments. But its about how you handle pressure… Thats the critical part.
You learn it when you are playing a game like this. You cannot learn it by seeing others. I think these sort of games are a good learning experience for the players.