Virat Kohli was impressed by the Greenfield Stadium and its wonderful outfield and was surprised that Thiruvananthapuram hadn't hosted an international game before Tuesday. Praising Hardik Pandya, Kohli admitted that his hand injury had brought scary thoughts of him bowling the last four balls.
Thiruvananthapuram was hosting an international game after 29 years on Tuesday and despite a rocky start, which saw light drizzles delay the game by two hours, a persistent crowd and some fantastic work by the groundsmen saw the game happen albeit an eight-over match. Thiruvananthapuram also became the 19th venue in India to host a T20 contest.
At the end, the crowd not only saw India clinching the series but a match that went right down to the wire. An ecstatic Virat Kohli was pleasantly surprised by the amazing ground and turnout and expressed his surprise that Greenfield Stadium didn’t hold a match prior to this.
“I think we were really happy to get a game. This crowd deserved to watch some action… This stadium is beautiful, the outfield wonderful and the crowd made it special. I am surprised there were no games here earlier,” said Kohli.
It was the Indian bowlers who brought home the game at the end and Kohli was all praise for Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya, whose last two overs did the trick for India while defending a target for 68 runs.
He said, “We thought if we can take the run-rate up, it’s not going to be so easy. Rohit and MS (Dhoni) came up with Bumrah bowling the second last, and Hardik Pandya bowled the last over well.”
Pandya pulled off yet another brilliant fielding display on Tuesday, especially in the last over when he intercepted a shot of Colin de Grandhomme, which was hit with brute force. He was writhing in pain soon after but showed spirit to come back and finish off the over.
Finding the funny side of Pandya’s spirited fielding, Kohli stated, “When Hardik got hurt, I was thinking god forbid if I had to bowl the last four balls.”