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In Twenty20, a single is as important as a six: Virat

Dhaka: Virat Kohli not only bats well, the 25-year-old also has a mature head on his shoulders. He is passionate about his cricket, but at the same time he is sensible.

After his Man of the Match-winning 72 not out earned India a chance of gunning for their second World T20 title, Kohli, who hit five boundaries and two sixes on the day, stressed on the importance of taking singles in a T20 match at the media conference.

Excerpts

His splendid unbeaten knock

I’m happy that I could play an important innings in the semi-final... I have been in good form. The target was to try and stay there till the end. We knew it would make our task easier. It’s important that one batsman stays there till the end in a T20 match. It wasn’t as easy as it seemed from the outside... There was pressure, but it’s always important to not let the opponent understand that you are under pressure. You can’t do that while dealing with a world-class bowling attack.

If the captain gave him the chance to score the winning runs

Yes, the captain gave me the opportunity to score the winning runs... I had requested him to finish the game... But he said ‘I can’t give you anything else in this match, because you have batted so well, scoring the winning runs is your gift’... I said ‘That’s very kind of you’. I accepted it because scoring the winning runs is always a special feeling. I’m grateful to him.

If it was his best T20 innings

In terms of the importance of the match I can say that this was my best innings, but otherwise I have hit the balls better during a few of my other innings than what I did today.

The secret of his success

Everybody does the same thing... I think cricket is played more between your ears than with your technique. You have to be mentally strong... It’s about being patient, about being calm and not think what the dugout maybe thinking about your batting. It’s all about blocking those thoughts out. It’s important to back yourself. There’s no secret there.

Whether attacking Dale Steyn was a plan

Against a quality bowling attack you need to be on top. The key is to score off the other bowlers... It’s all about calculating. The plan against Dale was to not give him wickets and eventually we ended up scoring some good runs off him. That wasn’t the plan... Once you start frustrating the opposition, the game starts falling your way.

The performance of the bowlers

We made the semis only because of the good performance of the bowlers... We never conceded more than 130 I think in our group-stage games. That’s a big achievement, especially in these conditions, where batting is easy. And Ashwin of course churned out another world-class performance today. Brilliant bowling... He got three of their main players.... The score could have been 195, but it’s because of his bowling that we could restrict them.

If the pitch changed during the second half of the match

I don’t think the pitch behaved differently during the second innings of the match... There was no dew today. The wicket didn’t change much... It was much slower than the earlier ones.

The importance of rotating the strike

In T20, a single is as important as a six... That’s something I always believe in. It’s very important to keep rotating the strike... In the rush of blood, you would want to hit boundaries... But it’s important to rotate the strike and not lose wickets at the same time.

The mood in the dressing room during the innings break

The dressing room was pretty relaxed... As it had been in the earlier games. Everyone was calm and relaxed, doing their own things and preparing for the game. There was no panic, no tension... I didn’t feel any tension. I think everyone knew that it was just a matter of one partnership.

His approach at the nets

Sometimes I have committed the mistake of being casual in the net session... With me, the thing is that one bad net session can disturb me mentally. So I rather just hit 10 balls, middle the ball and be in a good mental state. There’s no point trying to slog everything. That was the plan of having throw-downs at the practice session.

On Sri Lanka, their opponents in Sunday’s final

Sri Lanka’s bowling certainly has been pretty strong in this tournament... There’s not much dew now... They have some quality spinners and so it’s going to be a challenge for us. But we are not really thinking about that... We are playing some good cricket and this victory certainly boost our confidence before the final. But it’s important not to get too excited. We would want to win this title, but it’s not that we have to... When you say you have to, you create pressure on yourself. When we won the World T20 in 2007, I wasn’t a part of the team. So this time I would want to experience that.