DUBAI: Virat Kohli says he made a “conscious effort” to score at a quick pace in the Super 4 match against Pakistan, but intermittent wickets forced him to change his plans as the need of the hour was to bat deep.
Kohli, who made 60 off 44 balls, was going all guns blazing early in his innings before slowing down, fearing losing out on partners in the death overs.
“Today I was making a conscious effort to strike at a higher pace,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference after India lost by five wickets to Pakistan on Sunday.
“When we lost wickets, there was communication and our plans changed, where I had to bat till the 18th over with (Deepak) Hooda.
“If there were a couple of batters, I would’ve gone with the same tempo and tried to hit more boundaries or sixes. But again, I ended up being in a situation where I had to go deep.”
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“Because after Hooda and me, it was Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar), so the bowlers were to follow. That makes a bit of a difference, but we do possess the skills to analyse the situation and play accordingly as well.”
It was Kohli’s second consecutive half-century in the tournament after playing an unbeaten 59-run knock against Hong Kong in the league stages.
Having found his mojo back after a prolonged lean patch, Kohli was at his attacking best but slowing down cost him and India 20-25 runs.
“If you’ve seen the way we’ve been playing, it’s given us the results we need, and in our middle overs, the run rate has also improved,” Kohli said.
“It’s something I, as a batsman, really took keen notice of, and I knew that is one area we need to keep improving on. We’ve spoken about this that sometimes it won’t come off, the way you want and today, we lost a few wickets in the middle phase which didn’t allow us to go towards the 200 target.”
“But given the situation, if we had a couple of wickets in hand, we could’ve got more runs. We’re not disturbed by losing wickets through the middle overs, because that’s the way we want to play. We want to be able to get those 20-25 extra runs that can eventually make the difference in big games,” he added.
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The former skipper said he is relishing the dressing room environment, which is translating into his batting.
“The camaraderie with the boys is amazing. The environment within the team is amazing, so I’m absolutely loving playing at the moment all over again and feeling good the way I’m batting,” he said.
Kohli praised Haris Rauf for his brilliant last over but said he is currently at a happy space as far as his batting is concerned.
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“He nailed those slower balls and yorkers, with that pace when you execute, it’s always difficult to get it away. I’m going to continue – especially batting first – to bat the (same) way, trying to take the game on and stay ahead of the asking rate, understanding the conditions and just bat freely.
“As long as I am in a good space and confident of my batting, I know I can bat in many ways. It’s just about getting back into the groove and getting confident with how you’re playing and once that happens then the situation dictates how you need to play,” he said.