India vs South Africa | “Cramping” Kohli knew he had to play on to get team to 300

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BCCI

India vs South Africa | “Cramping” Kohli knew he had to play on to get team to 300

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SportsCafe Desk

02/08/2018

After spending more than two hours on the pitch, Virat Kohli admitted that he was cramping at the end of the innings but realizing that he had to get the team to 300, he kept playing on. Aiden Markram praised the Indian wrist spinners for restricting the hosts while defending a “chaseable” target.

Virat Kohli, in ODI cricket, has been in a league of his own for more than a couple of years now. After averaging an incredible 92.37 and 76.84, mostly at home, respectively over the last two years, the Indian skipper has continued his rich run of form in overseas conditions as well. After his exploits in the Test series, Kohli has now scored 318 ODI runs in three innings in South Africa and has been dismissed just once. 

The intensity will be more in the fourth game because we can't lose this series anymore.

Virat Kohli, on how India would approach the 4th ODI

Yesterday, even though he wasn’t at his usual best, Kohli came onto bat in the second over of the game with no run on the scoreboard. However, by the time he walked off, due to the end of 50 overs, he had added 160 runs to his tally while guiding his side to a commanding score of 303/6. However, it wasn’t a typical “Kohli” innings by the Indian skipper, who scored an astonishing 100 runs in singles and doubles. This eventually resulted in the Indian cramping up in the latter stages of his innings. However, he put on a brave face and battled to guide his side over the 300-run mark.

“Well the tour didn't start of too well but I knew I had to come in and get stuck in for us to compete in every game. Feels very good that it's coming off in winning causes. It started off with good pace and bounce. The new ball was sitting nicely with pace. It was a drastic change after the 30th over and we immediately chopped down out target from 330 to 280-290,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony, reported Cricinfo. 

I'd love it! I think that would spur the guys on.”

Aiden Markram, on AB de Villiers' return to the SA team

“You're always looking for someone to bat till the end and it's amazing if you do it as the captain. Another good partnership with Shikhar and a good stand with Bhuvi in the end as well. I was cramping towards the end but knew I had to stay till the end to get us 300. These are the times you're tested mentally as well as physically. [The spinners] We wanted to give them the pressure of defending today and it worked out.”

Kohli, who was adjudged man of the match, was adamant that his side wouldn’t let up despite taking an unassailable lead in the six-match ODI series.

“The intensity will be more in the fourth game because we can't lose this series anymore. I'm sure they'll come all guns blazing so we want to close that door,” Kohli remarked.

While Kohli’s captaincy has gone from strength to strength, Aiden Markram has struggled in his first two matches as the skipper of the side. Thrown into the firepit after both AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis were ruled out due to injuries, Markram has failed to, forget winning matches, even make the games competitive. However, the stand-in skipper, while praising India’s wrist spinning duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, admitted that India’s target of 303 was infact chasable.

“Everything is disappointing about this. Yet again not up to the mark. we've got ourselves to blame, have to try harder. I felt when we're in the field we were in. We managed to claw our way back and restrict them to 303 which I thought was chaseable. Unfortunately we didn't take it deep enough and you don't win a match like that,” Markram explained. 

“We've come across them [Kuldeep and Chahal] and after all that time if we're still struggling to pick them, it speaks of their quality. It's a bit about that and about confidence as well.” 

When asked about the possibility of de Villiers returning to the side for the fourth ODI, Markram quickly replied, “I'd love it! I think that would spur the guys on.”

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