Virat Kohli : Dhoni, Nehra told me to bowl Bumrah instead of Pandya

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Virat Kohli : Dhoni, Nehra told me to bowl Bumrah instead of Pandya

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SportsCafe Desk


Virat Kohli has revealed that he handed the 14th over of the 3rd T20I to Jasprit Bumrah, instead of Hardik Pandya, yesterday only at the insistence of MS Dhoni and Ashish Nehra. Bumrah bowled exceptionally to curtail the English chase after Yuzvendra Chahal had started the collapse in the 13th over.

The final T20 match had looked evenly poised after 13 overs with England needing 86 runs off 42 balls to win the series. However, Chahal dismissed both Eoin Morgan and Joe Root on consecutive deliveries to put India in the driving seat.

Kohli revealed in the post-match press conference that he had wanted to hand the ball to Pandya but Dhoni and Nehra were adamant that the main bowlers needed to come in at once. It proved to be a brilliant decision as Bumrah took two wickets in as many overs to secure the series win for India.

"Bringing on Bumrah right after that over from Chahal, I was thinking of giving Pandya another over instead. [Dhoni and Nehra] suggested that let's not wait till the 19th over and instead bring on the main bowlers. So these things really help when you are a new captain in the limited-overs format," Kohli said during the post-match press conference.

"But again, I am not new to captaincy, but there has to be a balance between understanding the skills needed to lead in shorter formats. MS has been helping a lot on that front.

"I take a lot of advice from MS and am always speaking a lot to Ashish Nehra too. In the ODI series, I was talking to MS a lot. Although I have captained in the Test format for a while, ODI and T20 games move very fast. So to take advice from a person who has captained the side at this level for so long and understands the game really well is never a bad idea in crucial situations," he added.

Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who became the first Indian to claim 6 wickets in an international T20 match, was singled out by Kohli for special praise. The 26-year-old claimed five wickets in 10 balls to effectively end the English resistance. Kohli, however, said that he was pleased with the depth of his squad when it came to the spin department as he could rest Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja without missing them too much.

"See guys like Chahal and Mishy, who has done well for us in limited-overs and in Tests also. Jayant [Yadav] too came in beautifully and did very well for us in the Tests. It gives us an opportunity to rest Ashwin and Jadeja whenever we want. There is no harm in using them as Test specialists and keeping them fresh," Kohli added.

"Guys like Chahal and Mishra and even [Parvez] Rasool are bowling so well. So we have a lot of spinners who are not only run-containing bowlers but also wicket-taking bowlers.

"The key today was to take wickets in the middle overs. Chahal didn't do such a bad job with that. I always back someone like Chahal. In the IPL too, I use him in most of the matches. He never says no to bowling with the new ball or bowling in the middle overs, so I mean having a guy like this is great. He doesn't say no to any situation."

Kohli who struggled in the T20 series, his highest score being 29, said that the way the team batted was a revelation because they kept on attacking the English bowlers even after he had been dismissed.

"The way we batted was again a revelation. Even after me getting out initially, Raina and KL [Rahul] didn't stop their instincts, which is needed in T20 cricket. To reveal themselves, to find their characters, players need to play that way. They don't need to think about what has happened. They need to keep thinking and looking ahead. That's exactly what we did this game," the 28-year-old concluded.

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