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Can win series abroad: Virat

Kohli feels it has been “one of the best years” for Indian cricket
K L Rahul bats during the third and final one-day international cricket match of the series between India and West Indies in Cuttack, India, on December 22, 2019
K L Rahul bats during the third and final one-day international cricket match of the series between India and West Indies in Cuttack, India, on December 22, 2019
(AP)

Our Correspondent   |   Cuttack   |   Published 22.12.19, 09:46 PM

Virat Kohli admitted being a touch nervous after his dismissal, as India required 30 off 23 balls for victory in the deciding ODI, here, at the Barabati Stadium.

But while heading back to the pavilion, he looked back at Ravindra Jadeja – at the non-striker’s end then – and could sense the all-rounder’s confidence.

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“Honestly, when I got out, I had a nervous phase. But when I looked back at Jaddu, he looked confident… They (Jadeja and Shardul Thakur) just changed the game in (less than) three overs.

“Watching from outside is way more difficult, though,” a relieved Kohli said at the post-match presentation, after India won the game by four wickets and secured the series 2-1.

For Jadeja, it was all about playing normal cricket without doing anything silly post Kohli’s departure. “Virat and I were talking in the middle, about how good the wicket was.

“We just wanted to keep playing our normal game and keep playing our shots. But unfortunately, Virat got out. I just focused on playing my normal game and tried to make sure I did not do anything silly… Just looked to play in the ‘V’,” Jadeja said during the post-match media conference.

“It certainly was a very crucial innings since this was a series-deciding game. When I went in to bat, the wicket was still so good to bat on.

“I looked to keep rotating the strike and play according to the merit of the ball,” Jadeja spoke of his unbeaten 31-ball 39. Used to bringing on his A game when India had a big or tricky target to chase down, Kohli highlighted the aspect of being a bit more calm now. But what probably made him happier was to see others finishing the game.

“Having done it so many times, you obviously have a bit more calmness and you understand how the dew is playing a part, so all you need then is some sort of a partnership.From thereon, the opposition usually crumbles… Nonetheless, it was great to see others finishing the game. It was outstanding,” the skipper said.

Looking back at 2019, Kohli feels it has been “one of the best years” for Indian cricket and the team is able to win series overseas. “2019 has been one of the best years for Indian cricket. Barring the 30 minutes in the World Cup (where India lost in the semi-finals to New Zealand), it’s been a great year. We’ll keep chasing that ICC trophy.

“But leaving that out, the way we’ve played has been satisfying. Having a bunch of fast bowlers who can bowl out any opposition anywhere and them taking the attention away from the spinners in India is a huge achievement.

“We feel we have it in us to win series overseas, not just the odd game. We are in the process of trying out people and see how they react under pressure,” Kohli signed off.



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