World Cup 2019: We showed character in bouncing back, says Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli on Saturday hailed his side's all-round performance after India beat Afghanistan in a last-over thriller to clinch its 50th win in the World Cup.

Kohli: "Shami was really good today. He was making the ball move more than anybody."   -  GETTY IMAGES

Virat Kohli on Saturday hailed his side's all-round performance after India beat Afghanistan in a last-over thriller to clinch its 50th win in the World Cup. The Indian skipper reserved special praise for Mohammed Shami, whose hat-trick took the game away from Afghanistan.

"Shami was really good today. He was making the ball move more than anybody," Kohli said at the post match press presentation. "Vijay Shankar fielded with great intent. We knew these guys were hungry. This game was way more important for us, because things didn't go as planned. That's when you need to show character and bounce back," he added.

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Opting to bat on a sluggish wicket, the Indian batsmen save Kohli and Kedar -- both of whom struck fifties -- struggled to get going and Kohli weighed in on the nature of the surface.

"You win the toss, and you decide to bat and then you see the wicket slow down. You think 260 or 270 would be a good total. At the halfway stage, we had our doubts in our minds, but we also had self-belief in the change rooms," Kohli said.

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"As soon as I went in, I understood the pace of the pitch. Cross-batted shots aren't on, and a lot of horizontal bat shots cost us on this pitch. You can't take the game away from the opposition. You have to knock the ball around, and with three quality wrist-spinners, it was always difficult."

Bumrah, who dismissed Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi in the same over, was adjudged Man-of-the-Match for his figures of two for 39 and Kohli explained the reason behind using his premier fast bowler in shorter spells. "It's simple - we want to use him smartly. When conditions allow us to. When he takes one or two wickets, he can go on, but otherwise we try to ensure the opposition knows that he has seven or so overs to go," he said.