Indian captain Virat Kohli could not make an impact with the bat in the third ODI against England; however, he was in the thick of the things as India clinched the ODI series in a cliffhanger. India’s bowlers did an impressive job defending 330 after failing to stop England from scoring 337 in the previous game. The right-handed batsman addressed India’s victory by attributing it to his team, who have through and through kept their nerves to seal the victory.
India started impressively as Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan raised a brisk century stand. England’s spinners bounced hit back by dismissing the openers along with Virat Kohli and KL Rahul cheaply. Nevertheless, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya resurrected India’s innings with another blazing 99-run partnership. Shardul Thakur played a brief cameo, too, as India dragged themselves through to 329 in 50 overs.
As compared to the first two ODIs, the visitors’ opening partnership did not last that long as Jason Roy departed after clattering Bhuvneshwar Kumar for three boundaries in the first over. Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed both the openers, after which England had brief partnerships involving Ben Stokes, Dawid Malan, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, and Adil Rashid. Despite losing seven wickets, left-hander Sam Curran kept keeping him in the hunt till the last over. Even as India dropped several chances on the field and performing misfields, they held their nerves to eke out a narrow seven-run win, with Curran unbeaten on 95.
It has been an amazing season for us and we wanted to finish on a high: Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli conceded that it was a highly exhilarating game, praising Sam Curran’s valiant knock, but did not forget to credit his side for timely wickets for releasing pressure. Kohli addressed the catches dropped and the misfields by stating that everyone wants to do well and nobody wants to spill those. While the 32-year old praised Krunal Pandya and Prasidh Krishna, he felt pleased about India’s batting depth and wanted to finish their incredible season on a high. He also revealed that he looks forward to IPL 2021 after winning every format against England and hopes for the relevant officials to address the hectic schedules.
“As I mentioned, when top-two teams battle, you get exciting games. England will not throw in the total at any stage, Sam played well, but we kept taking wickets to put enough pressure on them. The mindset shifted in the last couple of overs. Hardik and Nattu were brilliant to finish it off. Most disappointing for the guy to drop the catch. Everyone wants to do the best for the team on the field, but catches do get put down. But as individuals there’s no lack of intent and we eventually ended up crossing the line.
Prasidh and Krunal were impressive, but the most pleasing thing is the depth of our batting. Very exciting times ahead for us. It has been an amazing season for us and we wanted to finish on a high. This tour has been sweet, winning every series. Enjoy the IPL and back again with this group of guys. It is a bit of a respite for the support staff. Scheduling is something that needs to be looked at in these times…am sure things will be discussed and things will change in the future,” Virat Kohli told in the post-match presentation.