“These things keep happening as you go along in your career. You don’t target these things, but yeah, those stat windows are hard to neglect because they pop up everywhere after you’ve achieved something. It’s an honour for me to pass… or equal someone like Ricky Ponting. That’s not something that you aim for but obviously, he’s a great player and as batsmen we all respect what these legends have done. It feels like to equal one, but as you said the great man is quite a bit away. That’s going to take a hell of an effort. Again, I am not thinking about that. It’s only about the team where even if I score a 90 not out and the team goes across the line, it’s good enough for me,” Virat said.
Being the team-man that Kohli is, he doesn’t forget to talk about the man who made registering the whitewash against Sri Lanka in the ODI series — Jasprit Bumrah. Bumrah was adjudged Man of the Series after he picked 15 wickets in the five ODIs.
“Jasprit, obviously, he has been our most effective short-format bowler in the last 18 months. He has really worked on his bowling, especially his length ball has picked up more pace. That's very heartening to see because it never lets the batsmen get settled. It’s not only about yorkers and slower balls anymore. He can bowl a good length ball and nick you off as well, which I think is the biggest improvement in his bowling. Credit to him for shaping his game in that way. Getting a Man of the Series award in the subcontinent as a fast bowler, it’s always a great thing to achieve. He bowled in really good areas and he deserves to be the Man of the Series. I hope he can continue the same way against Australia,” the skipper said.
Kohli also feels that the spinners – Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal — were a vital cog in helping the likes of Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar shining.
“These guys were brilliant, all three of them. Axar Patel being a conventional spinner as well. He varied his pace, I think it was outstanding, he didn't let the batsmen get on top of him. That's a remarkable thing - when you don't have any variation in your bowling and you still don't let guys score - I think it's the height that really helps him getting that extra bounce and the extra pace he can generate. He's got a very strong shoulder and people find it difficult to sweep him. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal being wrist spinners will always keep you in the game. I certainly felt that all three of them were pretty spot on with attacking all the time. It really helped us get those crucial wickets in the middle overs and at the same time helped us control the run rate as well,’ added Virat.
India: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (c), Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Upul Tharanga (c), Dilshan Munaweera, Angelo Mathews, Milinda Siriwardana, Seekkuge Prasanna, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Isuru Udana, Dasun Shanaka, Lasith Malinga
axar patelBhuvneshwar KumarIndia vs Sri lankaIndia vs Sri Lanka 2017jasprit bumrahKuldeep Yadavvirat kohliyuzvendra chahal
First Published: September 6, 2017, 12:31 PM IST