The Indian youngster believes the bowling unit could have done better
Virat Kohli was adjudged the Man of the Match for his 39-ball half-century.
Virat Kohli put Afghanistan’s spirited performance against India on Wednesday down to the fact that it had ‘nothing to lose’, but admitted that India had to pull up its bowling socks ahead of the tougher challenges at the ICC World Twenty20 2012.
India defeated Afghanistan by 23 runs in its Group A opener, with Kohli named the man of the match for his 39-ball 50. “It was a good wicket and they had nothing to lose,” he said. “That is also a big factor which isn’t discussed much. A team ranked lower has nothing to lose. It will bowl its heart out, have no doubts and second thoughts, no problems with the situation. In batting too, such teams come out playing their shots. If they come off, then it becomes a problem for the bowling side. These are factors too, but overall I feel we could have done better as far as the bowling unit is concerned. We could have won by a bigger margin.”
Afghanistan mounted a brilliant chase after keeping India down to 159 for 5, but fell short in the final stages. “I wasn’t worried at all at any point of time that we would lose the game,” Kohli said. “It was all about staying calm in tricky situations and making sure you get back into better situations and lay a platform for the people coming in to get some big shots in and get a decent score on the board. You don’t need to go blazing all out in every game, especially against a team like Afghanistan. You have to be more careful than expressive and see to it that you make sure the team wins, rather than going out there and being overconfident and taking them lightly. There were a few situations that didn’t go according to plan. That was sort of disturbing but I didn’t think at any point that we would lose.”
Warming to India’s bowling woes, Kohli observed, “I am just hoping that it was a case of playing against a side which had nothing to lose. Maybe the bowlers always had the doubt that if they started scoring in a few overs, then things could slip away very quickly. I am hoping that against a bigger opposition, it will turn out in a more positive way as far as our bowling is concerned. We need to be more aggressive, execute our plans, be more geared up for the stronger oppositions. I am just hoping that happens and we put in a better bowling show.”
Kohli has now made at least a half-century in each of his last five international innings. “I don’t think too much about it,” he said. “There was a patch like this earlier also and everyone called it a purple patch. But I take each match as a new match and try to score as many as possible for the team. It’s important that the team wins when I make a contribution – that’s how I look at it. I don’t think about my personal goals – how many consecutive innings I have made runs in or how many big knocks I have had. I play according to the situation and if the team benefits from that, it gives me great satisfaction.”