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Virat Kohli praises bowlers for holding their nerves in a hard-fought match against Afghanistan


Indian team captain, Virat Kohli said India's narrow win over Afghanistan in the ICC World Cup 2019 match didn't go to plan despite the Indian side getting the victory.

India scored a sub-par 224 runs in their 50 overs and needed to rely on their bowlers to restrict their Asian opponents.

Mohammed Shami's last over hat-trick and Jasprit Bumrah's fine display delivered India their fourth win of the tournament, one that meant a lot to Kohli and his side.



Virat praised his bowlers in India's win against Afghanistan


Kohli said, "This game was way more important, to be honest as I said it didn't go as plan. But when things don't go your way, you need to show some character and bounce back and fight till the last ball and that shows the character of the team. We take a lot of heart from this win and take the confidence going forward".

Afghanistan needed 32 runs off the last four overs. They had a great chance of causing a major upset and consigning India to their first defeat in the 10-man tournament.

However, Jasprit Bumrah's two fine overs, which saw him hit the yorker length consistently and Mohammed Shami's hat-trick when 12 runs were needed off the last five bolls took India over the line.

Speaking after the match, Kohli revealed that Bumrah was always going to be the Indian team's trump card in the death overs. Bumrah also removed two set batsmen in Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shahidi when Afghanistan was decently placed and in control of the match.

"It's simple. We wanted to use Bumrah smartly when the conditions allow. He gets a long spell and because he can pick wickets in the spell he can get you quick wickets. He is the bowler who can do the damage at any stage of the innings and the opposition knows that as well. The communication was to finish him off at 49th over so that Shami has enough runs to defend in the last over and yeah the plan worked really well today. Keeping Chahal back also worked".

Kohli was also happy with Shami's performance. The right arm fast bowler replaced the injured BHuvneshwar Kumar and hit the ground running, finishing with impressive figures of 4 for 40 runs in 9.5 overs.

India next faces West Indies on June 27, Thursday in Manchester.