India vs Bangladesh: Virat Kohli justifies decision to field five bowlers

After the victory against Bangladesh in Birmingham that took Team India to the semifinals of World Cup 2019, India captain Kohli said the bowlers were picked keeping in mind the ground dimensions.

A triumphant Virat Kohli after the victory against Bangladesh in Birmingham on Tuesday.   -  REUTERS

India captain Virat Kohli justified his decision to field five bowlers after the 28-run victory against Bangladesh in Birmingham on Tuesday.

India had dropped Kuldeep Yadav to bring in Bhuvneshwar Kumar as the third pacer along with Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. Hardik Pandya was the fourth seamer while leggie Yuzvendra Chahal handled spin duties.

The seamers shared nine wickets among them. Bumrah (4/55) was the pick of the bowlers. Pandya (3/60) had a good day too.

“We experienced that Hardik, when put under pressure, has come back really well. He's really looking forward to do stuff for the team. He has a gut feel of what the batsman is looking to do. I know five bowlers was a gamble, but it was keeping in mind the ground dimensions. We wanted to play the perfect combination for the small boundary,” said Kohli at the post-match presentation ceremony on Tuesday.

Rohit Sharma scored his fourth hundred of the tournament to equal Kumar Sangakkara’s record.

The former Sri Lanka captain had smashed four centuries in 2015.

“I have been watching it for years now. He's the best ODI player around and we are so delighted to see him. When he plays like that, everybody is happy to see him strike this so well,” said Kohli.

Talking on Bumrah, he said, “His overs were always going to be crucial, so that's why we stopped him after four initially. He's a world-class bowler and he just knows what he's up against. We can look to capitalise on situations where we are in a position to score those extra 30 runs. Very happy with the way the team has played so far.”