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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Those tough situations helped us to eradicate errors: Kohli

Those tough situations helped us to eradicate errors: Kohli

Source: PTI
October 09, 2023 23:34 IST
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IMAGE: Virat Kohli and KL Rahul guided India out of a tough situation to pick up a win over Australia. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Star India batter Virat Kohli believes that the horror start his team had in its World Cup opener against Australia allowed him and KL Rahul to "eradicate the errors" from their game.

The hosts were put in a tricky situation while chasing Australia's target of 200, as they were left reeling at two for three by the second over.

It was then when Kohli (85) and Rahul (97 not out) put on a binding 164-run stand for the fourth wicket to turn things around and get the job done for the Men in Blue.

"It really helped both of us play in a more conventional way. Those tough situations obviously helped us to eradicate the errors and keep rotating the strike as well," Kohli told Rahul in a BCCI video.

 

"The highlight of our partnership was, obviously because of the low total, how content we were to knock the ball around. (We were) not necessarily looking at the number of balls we had played or the amount of runs we had got."

"Just fighting through the physical challenges of what we had experienced in the (Sunday) afternoon, coming into the evening, then the pressure obviously makes you feel even more tense, and you start getting more fatigued than you are."

"The team obviously feels great after a win like that. Hopefully, we can build on this and go a long way in this tournament."

Meanwhile, Rahul admitted that he was taken aback by the quick fall of wickets, as it barely allowed him to settle down in the pavilion after India began its chase.

"I never expected it. You do lose a couple of quick wickets when the bowler is doing something, but not like that. It takes four-five overs; doesn't happen in 1.5 overs."

"I had a shower and just came out and sat, and then Ishan (Kishan) got out. I had to rush back in, get taped and wear my pads before Rohit (Sharma) got out."

"I thought I would get at least two overs; Shreyas (Iyer) will bat a little bit. But he got out, I don't even know when, as I was busy padding up, and then, I rushed out."

When Kohli asked about Rahul's game plan at that moment of the tie, he clarified that he took a page out of his stint in Test cricket in a similar scenario.

"My game plan was to play the first ten overs like I play Test cricket. I do open the batting (in Tests), and we have played in situations where the ball does a bit."

"I just told myself that I will probably be a little bit conservative, just try to kill the momentum that Australia had. They were on a high."

"You (Kohli) were content with knocking it around, but you always kept showing that intent. If they pitch it up or get off the radar, you will punish them. I think they could sense that as well, and we got a couple of boundaries that way."

'Awkward to still be playing in front of a pavilion named after me' 

India next take on Afghanistan on Wednesday in New Delhi, which also happens to be the home turf for Kohli.

While the venue now has a stand in his name, he acknowledged that it's a special feeling to be back at the venue.

"Of course, for me, that's the stadium where I have grown up playing my cricket - Age-group cricket, Ranji Trophy and then played for India as well."

"The memory is always fresh in your mind. When you go back into those moments, you still feel it because that is where everything started. That is where the selectors saw you for the first time, and you got an opportunity.

"So, it's always special to go back and play at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. We used to practice at the B grounds, and the Ranji teams practised on the main ground. So, very special place, very special memories."

"It's a bit awkward for me to still be playing, and in front of a pavilion named after me. Honestly, I don't like to talk about it a lot, but it's a great honour that I never felt would happen in my career, and I just feel grateful when I go back and see all the things that are present now and from where I started," he signed off.

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