Virat Kohli: Playing for my country is a matter of pride

After leading India to a successful run-chase in Mohali, the Indian captain said he adapts his game to suit the team's needs irrespective of the format.

Virat Kohli celebrates reaching his second straight Twenty20 International fifty.   -  AFP

Virat Kohli leading India to successful run-chases is not new. For his part, he assessed the match-situation better than his counterpart Quinton de Kock and eventually walked away with the Man-of -the-Match award in the second T20 match of three-match series here.

Obviously filled with pride on leading India to victory, Kohli gave credit to the bowlers for the manner in which they dragged South Africa back.

“The pitch was very good and an outstanding effort from the bowlers to pull things back. As long as they show character in difficult situations, they are going to present a strong case for themselves in the future. Lot of positive signs for us and they'll get many more games to prove their mettle. They are going in the right direction.”

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Asked about his role, Kohli said, “It is a (matter of) pride to play for my country. Whatever it takes, whichever format, to get us across the line, I’ll do that. Adapting in different formats is nothing but a mindset of making your team win. If you want to win a game for your team, you will find a way. That’s the most important thing. I never think for myself, it’s always about what the team needs. Test cricket, one-day cricket ... the will should be to win the game for your country.”

Quinton de kock hoped for a better performance in the final T20 match in Bangalore. “We got off to a good start and towards the end they bowled pretty well and they assessed the conditions better than we did. There was a lot of pressure on some of the new guys and I think they did pretty well against this world-class opposition.

He said relying on pace to take wickets on this pitch did not help his bowlers. “With pace on the ball it looked easier to bat on and pace off the ball seemed to be the better option on this wicket.”

On his batting, de kock said, “I was quite hungry to get out there and hopefully next time we do better than what we did today with the bat.”

Shikhar Dhawan was happy with the start to the home season. “It was a good start for all of us. I was playing well, timing the ball well and enjoying myself. We guys practice a lot at that pace. We are used to it now and that's why we can counter that pace in matches.”

Reflecting on his dismissal with David Miller pulling off a memorable catch, Dhawan said, “It was an unbelievable catch and Virat was thinking that as well. I was smiling and appreciated Miller’s effort.”