Jaipur/Calcutta: An inspired India pulled off an incredible nine-wicket win over Australia in the second ODI of the ongoing series, here, on Wednesday. Chasing a mammoth target of 360 at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium, India reached home with 39 balls to spare.
The following are excerpts
Mahendra Singh Dhoni: I think this was one of the best chases, irrespective of the field restrictions and the pitch. It was a tall chase and we were simply outstanding… I just told the boys to go out with a clear mind and not look at the target. While Shikhar Dhawan’s batting was terrific, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were brilliant, too. Importantly, Rohit got a big knock.
It was an ideal batting pitch with a fast outfield. Our batting is looking good, but it’s unfair to assume that the batsmen are going to chase a target of 300-plus runs every time. Even though most of the boys have played international cricket, many of them don’t have the experience of a Yuvraj Singh who has played over 250 ODIs. The shot selection of our batsmen was simply superb and we did not lose our head at any point.
To chase down such a target, you have to be aggressive. It is important to maintain it so that you don’t have to slog.
Our bowling needs to improve. If you are attempting to bowl a yorker and it becomes a low full toss, it’s fine, but if it becomes a waist-high full toss, then the margin of error is too much.
It’s one area we are looking to improve. The boys are working hard, and I believe they will improve. It is a five-match series and we are not going to be content with this win. We will take one match at a time.
George Bailey: I don’t know what has just happened... I am not sure what to feel at the moment. The pitch was a beauty. It was some pretty awesome batting performance by the India batsmen. They did it quite comfortably in the end.
Virat took the game away from us. He started attacking from ball one and never gave a chance that would have allowed us to come back into the game. He played some smart cricket and set the tempo for the win.
We tried everything with the ball and as a result the ball seemed to go further and harder. It simply disappeared to all parts of the ground.
A couple of wickets could have changed the scenario. But it never happened. We knew that there would be a little bit of dew and that it would be a lot harder to bowl under lights. There are always things you can do differently, but in the end there are no second chances. In short, well played to India. Our performance was good, but India were exceptional.
Virat Kohli: I am very happy with my performance today, but I did not plan to get it in 52 balls. I just wanted to go out there and play my part. I didn’t practise batting at the nets on Tuesday and just had a few throw downs. But, I was hitting the ball well. I wasn’t worried about the short-pitched stuff. I pulled a few of them early on in my innings and after that they altered the length a bit and started bowling half volleys.
It doesn’t matter in how many balls I have got my hundred, what matters is that it helped my team win. But, it feels nice to break Virender Sehwag’s record of the fastest century by an Indian.
Rohit was batting really well today. Once he gets in, it is difficult to stop him, as he is one of the best batsmen in the shorter formats of the game and he has showed that in the IPL and the CLT20.
When I went in, I just told Rohit to convert the start that he has got into a big innings. He has perished in the 60s and 70s a lot of times in the recent past. I kept telling him that it was his day and it was a privilege watching him from the other end.