XtraTime Web Desk: Following the 36 runs win over Australia during ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash, Indian captain Virat Kohli said his team was extremely motivated to win against Aaron Finch’s team. According to Kohli, “Look, we were more motivated to win today because of the fact that we lost the series in India, being 2-0 up, and there was no Mitchell Starc, either. So him coming in makes their bowling lineup even stronger. So I think we had to be at the top of our game, as I said, and couldn’t have asked for a better game in all three departments.”
On being asked whether the win against the reigning champions set the platform for a semi final berth, Kohli said, “No, I think in my opinion it’s too early to decide that. I think after about six games we’ll be in a better position to know where we stand in the tournament, where we stand in the table, but we couldn’t have asked for a better start against two strong sides.”
The Indian new ball bowlers did a splendid job in keeping the dangerous David Warner quiet, which ultimately led to his downfall.
“Well, we sort of felt like they (Warner and Finch) were a bit hesitant in going for the boundary option, so the communication was very simple: Bowl at good lengths but within the stumps and pitch it up, because as a batsman I know when you’re not looking for a boundary option, the last ball you want is a length ball on stumps because you have to play a good short to get a boundary.”
Promoting Hardik Pandya up the order proved to be a master stroke as the all rounder scored at a rapid chase with a strike rate of 177.
“Yeah, look, the communication before that was if I get out, MS will come in to control that one end, and if the other guy gets out, if Shikhar got out, Hardik would have stepped in. Exactly what happened, and the communication came from the management that said let’s send Hardik and try and capitalise on this because last time we played here against Sri Lanka we got 330 and we lost the game.”
Hardik has already proved his worth in the team playing in his first World Cup. According to Kohli, “He (Hardik) has clarity of mind, brilliant striking ability, as I just mentioned. He knows he’s batting really well, and in the past sometimes he tried too hard, but I think what this IPL has done for his batting is that he believes our he knows that he can clear the boundary whenever he wants. Honestly, he doesn’t really care what tournament he’s playing. He just wants to go out there and express himself, and that’s his strength. He’s in a good space right now.”