Jasprit Bumrah has over the past few months been Virat Kohli's go-to bowler and the fast bowler once again showed how valuable he is to the team when he bagged two crucial wickets in the middle overs. Chasing 225 for a win, Afghanistan were relatively cruising at 106/2 when Bumrah back for a second spell snapped up the two set batsmen Rahmat Shah (36) and Hashmatullah Shahidi (21) in the space of three balls to stymie their progress.
"It gives a lot of confidence if the captain has so much trust and it helps me keep a clear mind on what I have to execute," Bumrah, who was named Player of the match for his figures of 2/39, said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Bumrah started off well with the new ball keeping the batsmen on a tight leash, then came back in the middle overs to provide the crucial breakthroughs and in the death overs nailed his yorkers to perfection not giving the Afghan batters anything to work on.
Speaking about his game plan, the 25-year-old said that as the surface was a bit on the slower side, he wanted to just keep it wicket-to-wicket and bowl as full as possible.
"Sometimes when you run behind the wickets you don't get wickets, so we wanted to create pressure and take the run rate high. As soon as the run rate goes up they had to take chances. That was the plan, it was a good day it worked," Bumrah said.
"Over here we saw the wicket getting slower and slower so with the old ball it was important to be accurate and bowl stump to stump. This is a big ground and there was some reverse swing as well so I just relied on my yorkers. It was a tight game so I was backing my yorkers."
Kohli too was effusive in praise of his strike bowler and said that the plan was always to use Bumrah for a spell or two in the middle overs and if he picked a wicket in that to keep him going for a longer duration.
"We want to use him smartly when conditions allow us to. If he picks up a couple of wickets he can have a longish spell because he can help you pick up four wickets in a spell but if not he can do damage in any stage of the innings," said Kohli on Bumrah.
"When the opposition knows he has seven overs up his sleeve, so he can come back for a wicket or two. In the end as well, the communication was to finish him off at 49 so that Shami can have enough runs to defend in the last over and the plan worked out well today."
It was a collective bowling effort from India with Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal weaving their magic in the middle overs while Hardik Pandya was also effective. Mohammed Shami then finished things off picking up a hattrick in the last over.
Bumrah hailed how the whole bowling got together in defending a low score emphasising the importance of healthy competition in the side.
"It gives us healthy competition in the side," Bumrah said. "We all train together, we are a very close unit. We all discuss with each other that we want to do. During the field as well, we talk about what to do and what the plans are. It is always good when everyone is chipping in with wickets. It is a great sign for our team."