Virat: Ishant was the standout bowler

Bhuvneshwar has played a lot of cricket for India. Ishant and Umesh haven't bowled much. Playing First Class cricket has helped them," said captain Virat Kohli after India's win.

Ishant Sharma Virat Kohli

Ishant Sharma (L) snarled five wickets during the second Test against Sri Lanka.   -  Vivek Bendre

Virat Kohli heaped praise on his bowlers for bowling Sri Lanka out cheaply on a deteriorating wicket as India won the second Test by an innings and 239 runs at Nagpur on Monday.

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Ravichandran Ashwin once again stole the headlines as he spun his way to becoming the fastest cricketer to 300 Test wickets, but pacer Ishant Sharma was the star performer according to the India skipper. "The spinners did bowl well. All the guys bowled well. Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) has played a lot of cricket for India. Ishant and Umesh (Yadav) haven't bowled much. Playing First Class cricket has helped them. The more number of overs they bowled it helped them."

"Shami was outstanding in Kolkata. Ishant was the standout bowler in this game. We would like to think we prepare for that (South Africa tour in January 2018). That's why we asked for pictures with life in it. This pitch deteriorated early. There is not much time to take conditions in our control and prepare for the South Africa tour," said Kohli at the post-match interview.

Playing the time

On his own mammoth knock of 213 in the first innings which helped India establish a lead of over 400 runs, Kohli paid tribute to his fitness and his willingness to take responsibility to play the time.

"Pitch was on the slower side. Not much was happening for the bowlers. Just wanted to bat as much as possible and rotate the strike and get quick runs to help the team's cause. This helps when we travel abroad. We tried to prepare at that point of view which will give our bowlers enough time to bowl out the opposition."

Sunday's double hundred was Kohli's fifth overall. "I wanted to better myself at scoring big hundreds. because it will benefit my team's cause. Set batsman can play his shots. Once you reach 100 you got to buckle down and get going. Have to take responsibility to score a big hundred. My fitness helped in playing the innings."

Kohli also had warm words for comeback men Murali Vijay and Rohit Sharma, who helped themselves to respective hundreds. "Vijay and Rohit batted wonderfully. Vijay takes so much pride in his Test cricket. He was hurting to miss so many matches (through injury). Rohit is making a strong statement too when we look for combinations. A nice headache to have," said Kohli.

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