Virat Kohli : MS Dhoni stepped up when we needed runs

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Virat Kohli : MS Dhoni stepped up when we needed runs

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SportsCafe Desk

07/01/2017

Virat Kohli has praised MS Dhoni for his scintillating 79-ball 78 that helped India post a competitive total of 251 on a slowish pitch against West Indies in the 3rd ODI. The visitors won the contest by a margin of 93 runs after the Indian bowlers restricted the home side to a paltry score of 158.

MS Dhoni came out to bat after Yuvraj Singh was dismissed for 39 in the 27th over. The veteran wicketkeeper-batsman then weaved a 70-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane before firing towards the end of the innings that saw India scoring 100 runs off the last 10 overs. 

MS Dhoni scored an unbeaten 78 that also helped him surpass Adam Gilchrist to become the second highest run-getter wicketkeeper-batsman with 9442 runs and was rewarded with the man of the match award for his performance. The 35-year old was partnered by Kedar Jadhav who scored a fiery 26-ball 40 and put up a 96-run stand with Dhoni for the sixth wicket. Indian skipper Virat Kohli acknowledged Dhoni and Jadhav's pivotal role in the victory.

"When we needed the runs, MS again finished the innings along with Kedar," the Indian captain said.

"Ajinkya batted well and Yuvi's 40-odd (39) were really important runs. MS at the end along with Kedar finished it really well. We thought 250 was a very competitive total," he added. 

Umesh Yadav gave India the perfect start by dismissing Evin Lewis in the second over itself while defending 252. The duo of Shai Hope and Kyle Hope then rebuilt the innings with their 43-run stand which came to an end when Hardik Pandya sent Kyle packing breaking the gritty partnership. Three wickets quickly followed that and put the Windies in a spot of bother at 87/5.

However, Jason Mohammed and Rovman Powell put on a 54-run stand for the sixth wicket to give the hosts some hope, but eventually the partnership was brought to an end by young wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav in the 34th over. Following Mohammed's wicket, Ravichandran Ashwin and Kedar Jadhav bowled out the home team for a paltry 158 in a span of five overs to help India clinch an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav picked three wickets each while Hardik Pandya scalped two wickets to restrict the Windies to 158.

"I think it was a very clinical performance. Early on there was quite a bit of moisture on the wicket. It was really a good toss for them to win and they bowled really well upfront," he said.

"The bowlers bowled really well despite the wicket being better in the second innings. When we needed the wickets, the two spinners stepped up," said the 28-year-old.

Kohli concluded by suggesting that changes in the team might be on the cards and Rishabh Pant could be seen in action in the fourth ODI.

"Individuals will hardly win you games. It is important to raise your hands and perform. We have quite a few players who have not got a game. It is important to have a look at them and figure out where they stand in pressure situations," said Kohli.

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