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Ashwin's return the biggest positive, says captain Kohli

Source: ANI
November 04, 2021 00:27 IST
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India's Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates with teammates Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli after dismissing Afghanistan's Najibullah Zadran in the T20 World Cup Super 12s match, at Sheikh Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday.

IMAGE: India's Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates with teammates Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli after dismissing Afghanistan's Najibullah Zadran in the T20 World Cup Super 12s match, at Sheikh Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday. Photograph: Francois Nel/Getty Images

A power-packed batting display by India’s openers and spirited bowling saw the Men in Blue thrash Afghanistan by 66 runs in a Group 2 match of the Super 12 stage in the T20 World Cup, at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday.

India’s captain Virat Kohli was a relieved man after the team's victory in three matches, saying the return of Ravichandran Ashwin to the side was a huge positive as the team gained control in the middle overs.

 

Veteran Indian spinner Ashwin scalped the wickets of Gulbadin Naib and Najibullah Zadran and gave away just 14 runs in his entire spell.

"Much better wicket to be fair. We spoke about the fact that in the other games, if we just had two overs of free-flowing batting, then that sends a message to the opposition that we are going to put you under the pump. When we do that, we know how we can play.

Sometimes, you do fall to pressure and have to accept that. T20 cricket is a very instinctive game, in batting, bowling and decision-making. We do make decisions on the go," said Kohli at the post-match presentation.

The Indian batters lit up Abu Dhabi with a stunning display of power-hitting to post 210 for 2 as Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul scored 74 and 69 respectively.

In reply, Afghanistan never looked like chasing it down, finishing on 144 for 7, 66 runs short.

"Top three is mostly settled unless situations like today when the openers batted all the way through and the power-hitters were ready. We don't always decide early to go hard, but we do back ourselves and when we do get going, we know what we can do."

"Well, yes that is the plan (to keep playing this way), but, as I said, sometimes you just give in to the pressure. The other teams bowled really well to us. Yes, it (net run rate) was, to be honest. We are always positive, and so were thinking about it," Kohli explained.

Mohammad Shami scalped three wickets while Ashwin took two. Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja got one each.

"The return of Ash (is the biggest positive); we saw him doing well in the IPL and when he does this, we get control in the middle overs. That's what I'm most pleased about (today)," he added.

India meets Scotland next, on Friday, while Afghanistan will square off against New Zealand on Sunday.

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Source: ANI

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