India batsman Virat Kohli said he had to keep his cool against a world class South African bowling attack as he guided the 2007 champions to a comprehensive six-wicket win in the ICC World Twenty20 semi-final at the Shere-E-Bangla National Stadium here Friday.
He smashed an unbeaten 72 off 44 deliveries as India won the semi-final by six wickets and five balls to spare to set-up a date with Sri Lanka in Sunday’s title clash.
“Today was one of those days when I had to keep my cool. Against a world-class attack, with boundaries not coming, it wasn’t coming. In Twenty20, I look at target in number of runs and overs to go, not runs and balls to go. Overs make it looks easier,” said Kohli, who was adjudged as Man of the Match.
Kohli said he and Suresh Raina wanted to finish it off in the 19th over since they didn’t want a scenario where they had to score eight in the last over from Dale Steyn.
“I had to keep telling myself that I could make up later. I told Raina let’s try to finish in the 19th over. We don’t want to give Dale eight runs to defend in the final over. He can bowl six good yorkers. I wasn’t feeling too good before this game, had some body weakness, so it is good to go out and let it all out,” he said.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that there was always a sense of calm in the dressing room while chasing a stiff target of 173.
“There was a sense of calm in the dressing room when we went out to bat. Most of the thoughts were positive. Everybody saw that the wicket was better than those we have played on, and they believed they could chase this down. It is not just the self-belief, but the belief in each other that is crucial,” he said.
Dhoni lauded Kohli for being consistent with the runs.
“There are not many who are as consistent as Virat. It is great to have him at No. 3. He grabs his opportunities. Something everyone needs to learn from him. Ashwin was brilliant. We kept him back for A.B. (De Villiers). We didn’t want to give him pace. The least I could offer Virat was the winning shot so I played out the last ball of the 19th over without a run,” he said. (IANS)