Kohli rates Hobart knock as his best

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Published: Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 11:38 [IST]
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Hobart knock, best in my career: Kohli

Hobart, Feb 29: After guiding India to a morale boosting win against Sri Lanka, Virat Kohli has termed this as his best knock so far in his career.

Chasing a target of 321 off 40 overs inorder to gain a bonus point, and stay afloat, India reached the target in 36.4 overs with seven wickets remaining.

Kohli said the team was confident of chasing a mammoth 321 off 40 overs, right from the start of their innings, as they planned it in a simple manner, decided to get one boundary every over, as their strategy was to take it as two Twenty20 games.

"We looked to get one boundary in an over, keep playing an over at a time, and if you need 100 runs from the last 10 overs, it was very gettable. So we took it as two Twenty20 games," he said.

"Initially, we had the plan to play 10 overs of powerplay. Then the next five we would consolidate and run hard between the wickets and then take the batting powerplay assuming they would take 15-20 overs as bowling powerplay," he told reporters at the post-match press conference.

"But that didn't happen, they didn't take bowling powerplay. The message came from the dressing room you don't need to take batting powerplay. Just keep playing and keep wickets in hand," he said.

"It has to be the best ODI hundred. Not probably the way I batted but given the kind of game we were playing," said Kohli.

"I told Gautam I can feel I am pretty set. I am confident and I can go for it. I would keep one end positive so we don't lose too many wickets. It's all about communication. One guy needs to keep it solid and the other needs to keep rotating the strike," he said.

The Delhi batsman has said, skipper Dhoni had asked him to negotiate the difficult period of the innings and play sensibly without throwing away his wicket.

"In the last game, MS (Dhoni) told me it's probably three occasions when you have been hitting the ball beautifully and you have got out on 20. You are hitting ball well, you need to stick it out on those tough periods. I kept that in mind.

"I knew even if I was to get 30 runs, all edges, might be all singles to third man, I might be driving and edging it every time, I have to stick in, I don't have to throw it away," said Kohli.

Kohli further stated that the team would concentrate on being more expressive as it was on Tuesday if they make it to the finals.

"We are going to think each game as last for us. Every game is a do or die for us. We are going to be expressive I can assure you. We are not going to think twice or hesitate. If we reach the finals, we are going to play like today.

"If this was our last match, it's important for India after the kind of season we had to have a win like this, especially in Australia. I hope we make the finals, if not we take lot of positives, just to reflect what kind of cricketers we are and what kind of cricket we can play," he said.

Handling Malinga was the key, and Kohli looked at ease while he was up against him, as he executed his shots very well and was aware of the fact that Malinga was looking for yorkers, to get wickets as Lankans desperately tried the pacer and forced him into the attack after conceding 24 runs in an over.

"He's very difficult to get away, once you get on top of it, you make sure it stays that way. They persisted with him even when he gave 24 runs because they knew he could get them wickets. I was hitting the ball well, he was bringing it in, it's my natural shot.

"I probably got the balls in the right areas. If you start executing the shots, it's not easy for bowlers to get yorkers right. I knew he would go for yorkers because he needs wickets. If he doesn't execute them, then I have the upper hand. So I had that in my mind but I stayed very calm at that stage.

"My natural movement is back and across. I don't need to go too deep into the crease. I am anyway back on my crease on these sort of quick wickets. You need your backfoot play, to rock back on backfoot as soon as possible. I had that in mind all this tour of Australia so my initial movement," Kohli said during the post match conference after being adjudged the man of the match for his scintillating 133* off judt 86 balls, which is indeed his best innings in the career.


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