India were rampant, Afghanistan were beleaguered. The contest was expected to be a cakewalk for Kohli and boys and yet, the warriors from Afghanistan stood up, they were not going to be shunted away, and they dragged India to the wire, stretched them, gave them a scare and almost pulled off one of World Cup's greatest upsets.
They were in the game till the very final over, till the 100th over of the match when Mohammed Shami finally sealed the deal and for the Indian captain, this win was a reflection of the character of his side.
"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," said Kohli after the match.
Praised the class of the bowlers
Afghanistan dragged the run chase along, they needed 32 off the last four overs and were more than with a shout of upsetting the apple cart. Well, all these murmurs were put to bed when Jasprit Bumrah ran in and nailed his Yorkers with absolute precision and this is what Kohli said, well he was beaming after the match.
"We wanted to use him (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," Kohli further added.
Bumrah was done by the 49th over which then saw Shami bowl the final over with 16 runs in the bank. For the skipper, the form of Shami, who was replacing Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the match, was a huge positive. He also praised Vijay Shankar and the intent the young man showed while fielding. Despite posting a below-par score, Kohli revealed that there was a belief in the camp that they could defend the total and that the players in the side were pumped up with pride as they were representing the country in a World Cup.
"We had a collective belief that we can win this one. They really put pressure on us in the middle overs and as I said our shot selection could have been a lot better," Kohli said.