Bhuvneshwar Kumar

It was important to make something out of this game, says Kohli

[caption id="attachment_58517" align="aligncenter" width="580"]9267 India skipper Virat Kohli remained 104 not out at the Eden Gardens today. Image Source: XtraTime[/caption]

Kolkata: Indian captain Virat Kohli lauded his teammates for the character they showed on the fifth day of the first test match between India and Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens. The test ended in a disappointing draw for the home team with Sri Lanka scoring 75/7 when bad light stopped play.

“It was important to make something out of the game with whatever time we had. Conditions changed drastically over the five days. We had to show character, having been on the back-foot on day one and day two. Credit to Sri Lanka. The team showed a lot of character. We didn't look at the batting collapse,” said Kohli at the post match presentation ceremony.

He also added, “We believed in our strengths. If you didn't have intent on this wicket, it would've been difficult to survive. That was the key. If we got enough good balls in the right areas, it would've been tough. All in all, we're proud of how we finished.”

Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled an inspiring spell of swing bowling to rekindle hopes of a dramatic finish to the test match. He returned with 8 wickets in the match.

Lauding the efforts of Kumar, Kohli said, “His (Bhuvneshwar) bowling has picked up pace, his ball is heavier than what it used to be. He grabs his chances every time he comes into the team. He's a massive contender to start in every Test match for India now. He'll be a vital part of our plans, especially overseas.”

The captain himself led from the front, stroking his way to a power packed century. On being asked about his mindset in the middle, Virat said, “As soon as we lost Wriddhi, me and Bhuvi started having fun. It was important to take our minds of the situation and the shots started coming off. Luckily they took the new ball. I decided, if we don't show intent, there may not be much to offer. So yeah, that helped. (50 international hundreds) feels good. It hasn't been a long journey yet. If I can step up and perform, that will give me more pleasure than thinking of the number of hundreds I have. That will remain the mindset till I play this game.”

Man of the Match Bhuvneshwar Kumar felt it was tougher to bowl in the second innings.

"Frankly speaking, it was tougher to bowl in the second innings as the surface was a lot drier," said Bhuvi.

He added, "But the ball was reversing, so that helped. When I made my debut, I was totally dependent on swing. International circuit tells you what you need to improve on. I worked hard on my fitness and that is paying off. We believed we could win. Virat said 'Imagine we're in this situation overseas. If we get two-three wickets early, it won't be easy for them.”

Mohammed Shami too fired in all cylinders as he played the perfect foil to Bhuvi on this wicket at Eden Gardens.

Later after the days play he said, “We had to put in the extra effort because time was less. The public also enjoyed it, I think. We were sure we'd be successful if we hit the right areas. In the first two days, it was bad for us. This is my home ground, so I knew if the sun comes out, the wicket will ease out. Hard luck that the sun went down early today. As I've played, I've gained a lot of experience and confidence. I continue to learn a lot from the ex players, who have given me the support.”

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