I didn’t have good un­der­stand­ing of where to draw the line: Kohli

The Hitavada - - SPORTS -

VI­JAY Shankar and Shreyas Iyer scripted a su­perb chase to help In­dia A notch up a thrilling four-wicket win over New Zealand A in a high-scor­ing unof­fi­cial ODI on Fri­day.

Put into bat, NZ A rode fifties by three of their bats­men opener Hamish Rutherford (70), Tim Seifert (59) and James Nee­sham (79) to post chal­leng­ing 308 for6.

Shankar then hit an un­beaten 80-ball 87 and added 116 runs for the fifth-wicket with Ishan Kis­han (47 off 43). Iyer scored a run-aball 50 as In­dia A re­turned to over­haul stiff tar­get, scor­ing 311 for six with one over to spare and take 1-0 lead in three-match se­ries.

Brief Score: 311 for 6 (Shankar 87*, Iyer 54; Ben­nett 2/65) beat 308 for 6 (Nee­sham 79*, Rutherford 70; Kaul 2/74) by four wick­ets. FAR from get­ting ex­cited af­ter hav­ing Aus­tralia in a spot of bother, In­dia off-spin­ner Ravichan­dran Ash­win said Fri­day the first Test is “ex­tremely well poised” and ev­ery run in the re­main­ing days will be worth its weight in gold.

A relentless In­dian bowl­ing at­tack re­stricted Aus­tralia to 191 for seven on the sec­ond day.

“I thought we re­ally bottled them up, soaked them up and put on pres­sure from both ends,” said Ashiwn, the most suc­cess­ful vis­it­ing bowler with fig­ures of 3/50.

“We don’t iso­late it as a fast bowl­ing or spin bowl­ing pack. We iden­tify it as a bowl­ing unit to­gether be­cause one can­not ex­ist with­out the other. To­day was an­other per­fect at­tri­tion day for us,” he said at the post-match press con­fer­ence.

Aus­tralia trailed by 59 runs and Ash­win said the Test was still on equal terms.

“I bowled an ex­tended 22-over spell even be­fore and af­ter tea to make sure that we do not give away more runs.

“I see it as neck-and-neck in the game. Who­ever can get mo­men­tum from hereon has the edge in this Test. I think it is ex­tremely well poised. Ev­ery run is go­ing to be gold dust from here.”

About the pitch con­di­tion, he said, “I thought there was a bit more stick­i­ness yesterday and the speed has def­i­nitely come down. When we were bat­ting yesterday I don’t think it was as slow as it was to­day.

“I think the wicket has slowed down con­sid­er­ably and I don’t ex­pect it to quicken up more ei­ther. I think it’s go­ing to slow down more.”

Ash­win would not pre­dict how much the pitch will slow down or de­te­ri­o­rate.

“I don’t know what’s go­ing to hap­pen be­cause it is a drop-in wicket. Be­cause of the amount of grass I don’t see the foot­marks widen­ing as much as they did the last time (in 2014).

“If any­thing has to be done, you have to do it on the fourth or fifth day. We need to see how much it grips.

“Adelaide gen­er­ally of­fers a bit of spin but look­ing at the grass to­day we didn’t think we would get the hold that we are get­ting out there. There is a lit­tle bit of hold in the wicket and it is not con­sid­er­able or vi­cious.” “I didn’t have a good un­der­stand­ing of where to draw the line and stuff like that...,” says In­dia’s cel­e­brated cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli, known as much for his fiery char­ac­ter that has walked along­side his un­be­liev­able bat­ting like shad­ows.

Hav­ing toured the coun­try twice, Kohli is now lead­ing the team.

“I didn’t have a good un­der­stand­ing of where to draw the line and stuff like that. Those are things that I, I wouldn’t say I re­gret, but those def­i­nitely I look at them as mis­takes. But mis­takes that were im­por­tant for me to com­mit so I can learn from them,” Kohli opened up to Aus­tralian great Adam Gilchrist dur­ing an in­ter­view for ‘Fox Sports’. AUS­TRALIA are “still fight­ing, still in the con­test”, debu­tant Mar­cus Harris in­sisted Fri­day, af­ter In­dia nosed ahead by snar­ing seven wick­ets and leav­ing the hosts with some ral­ly­ing to do in the first Test.

The opener though said that they are still in the game on ac­count of be­ing just 59 runs be­hind In­dia’s first in­nings’ score of 250.

At the same time he praised the In­dian at­tack for keep­ing things tight and re­strict­ing them to 191 GAU­TAM Gamb­hir lived a charmed life but the fa­mous grit was dis­played in abun­dance on way to an un­beaten 92, his fi­nal knock in com­pet­i­tive cricket guid­ing Delhi to 190 for one.

On the sec­ond day of the Ranji Tro­phy en­counter against Andhra, Delhi were placed well in re­ply to the vis­i­tors’ firstin­nings score of 390.

Ev­ery­thing else be­came a foot­note once Gamb­hir en­tered the field.

It was a Feroz Shah

Kotla host­ing a Ranji match, for which a few hun­dred faith­fuls from Old Delhi turned up. The stage was set and there were lit­tle el­e­ments that the hand­ful of peo­ple would re­mem­ber in his last hur­rah.

The Guard of Hon­our by team­mates at ev­ery break and his wife turn­ing up with two adorable daugh­ters just af­ter the hus­band com­pleted a fifty.

Gamb­hir had it all and even the Almighty wouldn’t have wanted the fairytale script to go awry.

So no one com­plained when an Andhra fielder dropped a sit­ter at mid-off, a reg­u­la­tion catch which would have been other­wise gob­bled “11 out of 10 times”.

He was twice dropped in the slips but it didn’t mat­ter dur­ing the 152 balls that he played. for seven at stumps.

“I thought they bowled re­ally well - the run rate’s only two and a bit, so I thought they bowled re­ally well. We stuck at it pretty well. It was a tough day. It wasn’t easy to score, so I thought we fought well.

“Travis Head bat­ted well, Peter Hand­scomb looked good and Mitchell Starc bat­ted well at the end. I think we’re in a de­cent po­si­tion,” Harris said.

He said that Aus­tralia did want to get on the front foot and at­tack but the In­dian bowlers kept relentless pres­sure to force them into fend­ing off overs. BOWLERS and stand-in skip­per Sid­desh Lad who scored an un­beaten 70 led Mumbai’s fight-back against Ma­ha­rash­tra on Day Two of their Elite Group A match.

Af­ter bundling out Ma­ha­rash­tra for 352, Mumbai ended the sec­ond day at 196 for 5, still adrift by 156 runs, at the Ma­ha­rash­tra Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion Sta­dium at Gahunje near Pune.

At Pune: Ma­ha­rash­tra 352 (Gu­gale 101, J S Pande 74; Parkar 4-56) vs

Mumbai 196/5 (Lad 70*, Tare 63, Palkar 2-37).

At In­dore: Hyderabad 124 all out in 35.3 overs (Agar­wal 69*, Khan 7 for 24) vs Mad­hya Pradesh 539 for 4 in 136 overs (Ro­hera 255 bat­ting, Pati­dar 51, Dubey 128 bat­ting).

At Mo­hali: Hi­machal Pradesh 390 all out in 145.1 overs (Dhawan 61, Gangta 58, Kalsi 82, Da­gar 71, Sharma 5 for 101) vs Pun­jab 75 for 9 in 30 overs (Da­gar 4 for 22).

New Zealand crick­eters cel­e­brate their vic­tory against Pak­istan on the third and fi­nal Test at the Sheikh Zayed In­ter­na­tional Sta­dium in Abu Dhabi. (AFP)

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