Dhoni: Kohli is getting better and better

"He's a tremendous character and I feel he shouldn't lose his own character [aggression], that's what his strength is. He's just batting amazingly well and he's fantastic — he's fit, he can field anywhere and at the same time he can run hard," Dhoni praised Kohli.

MS Dhoni Virat Kohli - cropped

MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli following India's win over Australia.

>Virat Kohli has continued to get better as a batsman, according to India captain M. S. Dhoni, after his masterful knock of 82 off 51 balls that tilted the contest against Australia towards India's way right at the death to secure a semifinal berth for his team.

Australia was closing in on India, which was kept quiet in large phases of its chase of 161, before Kohli unleashed a flurry of boundaries in the 18th and 19th overs, collecting 19 and 16 runs respectively, to guide India home.

Calm under pressure

The critical aspect of his knock was his ability to stay calm under pressure, accelerating at the appropriate juncture just as the required rate appeared in danger of spiralling out of control.

"A lot of things pop into your head at that point [when a game goes to the wire] and when you're calm it just helps you to pick the right one," said India skipper Dhoni, a renowned expert at finishing an innings and Kohli's partner for the final six overs on Sunday.

Shifting in the right direction

"It's not always that you pick the right one but at least you are in a state of mind where you can pick the right decision, thinking about it and not [being] too impulsive about it.

"It's definitely a good quality, but he [Kohli] will always be the same, he will be an aggressive character, willing to take on challenges and he'll be aggressive on the field. But he will also improve and that's what I feel is great: he's shifting in the right direction.

Tremendous character

"He's a tremendous character and I feel he shouldn't lose his own character, that's what his strength is. He's just batting amazingly well and he's fantastic - he's fit, he can field anywhere and at the same time he can run hard."

Kohli dominated a match-winning stand of 67 with Dhoni, after putting on 45 with Yuvraj Singh, who was hampered in his running between the wickets by an ankle injury.

Asked if he had considered asking Yuvraj to retire hurt, Dhoni replied: "It's an easy decision because you have two individuals [out on the field] who know the best.

"Yuvraj Singh has played more than 250 ODI games, Virat Kohli is the vice-captain of the team, so you have to leave it to them to take the best decision at that point in time. It was left up to them as to what was the best decision at that point and that's where experience counts."

In addition to hailing Kohli's "tremendous batting effort", Dhoni also paid tribute to his bowlers for limiting Australia to 160-6 after openers Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch had got off to a flier.

"If you can restrict the opposition to 160, especially when in the first six they have scored 60 runs - I thought it was a very good effort from the bowlers," Dhoni said.