With the start of their cricket season, India have slid right back into it with an ODI victory against Sri Lanka. Though there were a few hiccups in the match, the 2011 World Cup winners managed to get things going and secured a win after posting 314. Though the Lankans fought back till the last ball, they lost by 21 runs. The Captains of the two teams had some words for the media after the match, but it was Indian batsman Virat Kohli’s presence that caught everyone’s attention.
Kohli has been in tremendous form for quite some time now and made his 12th century in the ODI. It’s his 4 century in 5 consecutive innings and the team couldn’t have been happier. The charismatic youngster spoke about how his journey has been in the game so far, and said that the Test century he scored against Australia in their own backyard last season gave him the confidence to do well in all formats.
“Doing well in Australia, a strong side, really boosted my confidence, and that Test hundred really helped. You get maximum satisfaction when you score runs in Test cricket. I got confident about my game,” Kohli said.
“God's been kind, I've been working hard. Hopefully I can be consistent for the team this season. Performing for my country is the biggest thing for me, and I try to give my best out there for the team,” he added.
Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene also spoke about the loss his team had suffered. Sri Lanka have been a very strong team especially at home, but it seemed like the Indians had their number time and again. Though there were some tense moments throughout the match, the Indians stood tall in the end. Jayawardene said that the top order batsmen left too much work for the big hitters at the bottom, which led to the loss.
“We've got some big-hitters at the end, but we left too much for them to do. Too many mistakes, against a quality side like India. It was important for us to set up a platform; Sanga was trying to build an innings. We never had momentum going into the last 10 overs,” Jayawardene was quoted saying.
“We'll try to refocus and come back strong. Kulasekara and Lasith are two big guys I rely on during the Powerplays, but we need to improve our standards in the field.” Although his side tasted victory in the first match of their season, India’s captain MS Dhoni was not too happy with the result and said that they needed to stop conceding so many runs in the last few overs, but he was all-praise for the bowlers.
“The death bowling for us needs to improve. Zak was good, one good positive was Irfan Pathan doing well. Without Jadeja or Yuvraj, it is difficult to make a side balanced in both departments so this was important. It's a good learning experience for the younger bowlers," he was quoted.
Dhoni also spoke about how important the toss was on this pitch and thanked his stars for winning it.
“This was one game where I felt the toss would be crucial. In the second innings, there was variable bounce and it was a little difficult to bat on.”
He concluded the talk by speaking about the batting performance of the men in blue, stating that even though it was a big total, they needed to do better.
“Gautam was unfortunate to get out in that fashion. Sehwag and Kohli batted very well, we are lacking a bit of firepower down the line. Once the batsmen who are set carry on, then me, and the likes of Raina can go and express ourselves,” he was quoted.