Virat Kohli: We played an absolutely perfect game against Australia

Virat Kohli was pleased with the team's performance after India held off Australia's pursuit of 353.

Virat Kohli made the right bowling changes to keep taking wickets and feed off the scoreboard pressure.   -  AP

India, playing its second big-ticket match in a row, put in another clinical performance to this time defend a score for a 36-run win and overtake Australia to second place, having played a match less.

The victory was set up by the batsmen, with Shikhar Dhawan laying the foundation with a 109-ball 117 before Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and M. S. Dhoni gave the final flourish to the innings.

Defending 352, India's new-ball bowlers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah took six wickets between them, while Yuzvendra Chahal picked the key wickets of David Warner and Glenn Maxwell to dent Australia just when it threatened to put the foot on the accelerator at different stages of its chase.

As it happened

Summarising the performance at the post-match presentation, Kohli said, "A top, top win for us, especially after that series loss in India. We had a point to prove. We played with intent, right from the first ball. It was an absolutely perfect game for us. We were very professional and that always pleases you as a captain."

India had, less than three months earlier, failed to defend 359 in a day-night one-dayer in Mohali, with Ashton Turner playing a freakish innings to haul Australia over the line. On this occasion, India made sure it defended 352, with Kohli going on to remark that the Indian bowlers were helped by the substantial total posted by the batsmen.

"You again have to bowl well as well," he said about defending 352, before adding, "those 30 runs extra makes it a different ball game."

The Indian captain said India played to its game-plan, an aspect it can be satisfied about. "Rohit Sharma got out unfortunately," Kohli said about India pushing for a total close to 350. "Shikhar Dhawan made a century and one of the top three got a century. We played the way we wanted to play and that always pleases you."

Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped India take control of the match with his double-wicket 40th over, removing the well-set Steve Smith and Marcus Stoinis. The UP seamer's inclusion has raised eyebrows with Mohammed Shami coming to the World Cup in wicket-taking form and expected to partner Bumrah.

Praising Bhuvneshwar, Kohli said, "If Shami plays, it has to be proper overcast conditions. Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) has been a champion bowler for us. His wickets in quick succession of Steve Smith and Marcus Stoinis was a game-changer for us. (As a captain,) There's not much you need to tell them (Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah)."

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