After wrapping up a 3-1 series win against the Windies, Virat Kohli praised the all-around performances from the side. Though Kohli also scored an unbeaten 111 to seal the game yesterday, he chose the consistent performances from Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane through the tour as the key reasons.
A clinical performance from India saw them thrash the West Indies by eight wickets in the final ODI of the series and clinch the 5 match series 3-1 after the first ODI was washed out. Speaking at the end of another successful series, Kohli singled out some of the players for their performances at the press conference. “First and foremost the aim was to win the series, have a complete team performance. Special mention to Rahane, who’s come back after a while and he was outstanding. Shikhar as well at the top. Kuldeep was outstanding. Really pleased with the team effort in general.”
The Indian skipper orchestrated the chase after his bowlers skittled out the home side for a paltry score of 205 on a batting-friendly wicket at Sabina Park in Jamaica. However, speaking after his innings, the 28-year-old played down his contributions, saying, “I have always been a batsman that’s played the situation and that’s something that has never changed. I still think the same way I used to when I wasn’t the captain. It’s a taking a bit more responsibility for the guys at the other end. That’s always a nice thing to learn and also makes you understand the game better as well. I’m relishing the opportunity.”
“Winning convincingly in a chase is always nice. For me, it’s all about getting the team across the line. It’s not about stats – it’s about looking at the scoreboard, looking at the bowlers, which ones to target, which ones to give respect to. I like taking control of the situation, stringing partnerships. Again Ajinkya was very good, Dinesh too. People are grabbing their opportunities – Shami playing one-day cricket after two years,” he added.
Although Kohli scored a century in the last game, Ajinkya Rahane was India's best player in the tournament as she smashed 336 runs from 5 matches, which included 3 fifties and one century. Kohli appreciated the Mumbai batsman’s performance saying, “Again Ajinkya was very good, Dinesh too. People are grabbing their opportunities – Shami playing one-day cricket after two years.”
What made Rahane’s performance even more commendable is the fact that he was left out of the squad for the Champions Trophy which preceded the tour of the West Indies, owing to the form of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.
Reflecting on his own efforts, the opener said, “I really wanted to make it count. I wanted to enjoy my batting. Even in the Champions Trophy, I was batting very well in the nets, and I really wanted to make it count here. This wicket was slightly better than the last two venues. The ball was coming nicely onto the bat – this was the best wicket to bat on. As I mentioned, I just wanted to enjoy my batting. I didn’t want to put pressure on myself. One-day cricket is all about expressing yourself and converting starts into a big one. Even in the future, I want to enjoy myself and score some big ones.”