Virat Kohli confident India can win in Australia despite defeat in England

India played better than the crushing 4-1 scoreline suggests. (AFP)
Updated 12 September 2018
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Virat Kohli confident India can win in Australia despite defeat in England

  • India skipper praise team's character during the series defeat in England.
  • Kohli and Co. set to face Australia Down Under, where they have never won, later this year.

LONDON: Virat Kohli is confident that India can compete in challenging conditions in Australia despite a crushing 4-1 defeat to England that compounded a disappointing away record in Tests.
England wrapped up victory at the Oval on Tuesday, winning the final match of the series against the number one side in the world by 118 runs late on the fifth day.
But despite the comprehensive nature of the series defeat, Kohli took positives from the tour as he looked forward to Australia, where India have never won a Test series.
“What matters to me is the kind of attitude you play cricket with,” the Indian captain said. “We said at the end of the fourth game that we won’t throw in the towel and we didn’t.
“This kind of series shows you exactly the kind of character of individuals and I see that as an opportunity and not adversity because if you keep winning all the time a lot of faults are swept under the carpet, you don’t realize the faults you need to work on.”
Kohli, who was top-scorer in the series with 593 runs, said India had created pressure at various times in England but had not capitalized on key moments.
“We were not able to hold that pressure for long enough with the bat and the ball as well, so at crucial stages we could not keep that pressure on for long, and that is why they took advantage of those situations better than us,” he said.
For all India are the world’s top-ranked side, they have now won just one of their past nine series outside Asia.
But a number of factors are in India’s favor for their Australia tour.
They boast arguably their finest-ever pace attack and will face a team still without the banned Steve Smith and David Warner and with fitness doubts over their attack.
When asked if he was confident about the four-match Test series, which starts in December, Kohli talked of the strides the team has made.
“The progress has been there... we need to recognize when the situation is in our favor and how to solidify that situation even further, and make sure that the opposition cannot get back in to the game,” he said.
“More often than not (against England), we have given the advantage to the opposition rather than them brilliantly turning around a situation.”
And Kohli spoke about the need to compete from the first ball of the series.
“We can’t warm up in to a series because the first Test is always crucial, and we need to make sure we are in the right frame of mind to be able to do all the things right to strike first,” he said.


Pakistan beat Afghanistan in last over finish

Bangladesh's Mahmudullah, right, bats during the one day international cricket match of Asia Cup between Bangladesh and Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. (AP)
Updated 22 September 2018
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Pakistan beat Afghanistan in last over finish

  • Hashmatullah Shahidi missed out on a maiden hundred by a mere three runs but still steered Afghanistan to a challenging 257-6

DUBAI: Experienced batsman Shoaib Malik hit a six and a boundary to pull off a sensational last over three wicket win for Pakistan against a spirited Afghanistan in the Asia Cup in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Malik pulled the second ball of the final over by paceman Aftab Alam over the deep square leg boundary and then whacked the next to deep fine leg for a boundary as Pakistan pulled off a nerve-wracking win in 49.3 overs at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Pakistan, cashing a stiff 258-run target, were home and dry to start the Super Four Stage with a much needed win and now face arch rivals India in Dubai on Sunday.
Hashmatullah Shahidi missed out on a maiden hundred by a mere three runs but still steered Afghanistan to a challenging 257-6.
Pakistan were off to a disastrous start when opener Fakhar Zaman was trapped leg-before off the sixth ball of the innings by spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman for nought.
Imam-ul-Haq scored a 104-ball 80 with five boundaries and a six while Babar Azam knocked an attractive 94-ball 66 with four boundaries and a six during their innings repairing the 154-run stand for the second wicket.
But both fell within the space of four runs as spinner Rashid Khan (3-46) brought Afghanistan back in the game with the asking rate getting stiffer, as Pakistan needed 42 off the final five overs.
Despite losing skipper Sarfraz Ahmed (eight), Asif Ali (seven) and Mohammad Nawaz (ten), Malik kept his cool to sop Afghanistan from posting their third straight win after beating Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the first round.
Earlier, Shahidi hit three consecutive boundaries in the final over off Usman Shinwari, but failed to get to three figures off the last delivery after Afghanistan won the toss and batted.
Shahidi finished with a brilliantly-paced 118-ball 97 not out, and added 94 for the fourth wicket with his skipper Asghar Afghan, who smashed five sixes and two fours in his 56-ball 67.
But it was Shahidi who held one end against Pakistan’s bowling in an innings which featured seven boundaries after left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz (3-57) had put the brakes on Afghanistan’s early progress.
Shahidi had added 63 for the third wicket with Rahmat Shah who scored a measured 36.
The total is an improvement by Afghanistan after scoring 249 and 255 in their previous two wins against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Pakistani fielders dropped four catches — three off debutant paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi who finished with 2-38.
India beat Bangladesh by seven wickets in Dubai and now meet Pakistan on Sunday, also in Dubai. Afghanistan and Bangladesh meet in Abu Dhabi on the same day.
Top two teams from the Super Four Stages will play the final in Dubai on September 28.