Virat Kohli has revealed the conversation he had with MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma during the death overs of India's thrilling last over victory against Australia in the second ODI of the five-match series in Nagpur.
Going into the final few overs of the game, the match was really tight with and Australia was in the driver's seat to chase down the total of 251 to level the series 1-1. The visitors had 4 wickets in hand and required only 29 runs to win in the last 5 overs. At the stage, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami had two overs each left to bowl which meant India had to eke out one over from one of their non-regular bowlers. Kohli had a choice between Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar to bowl that over but had to pick the perfect time so as to maximise India's chances of winning the game.
Captain Kohli decided to bowl out his regular bowlers leaving the last over of the innings to be bowled by his non-regular bowler and he chose Vijay Shankar over Jadhav. This move was reminiscent of Dhoni's claim to fame as a captain when – under similar circumstances – he held Joginder Sharma back in the final of the 2007 World T20 and asked him to bowl the final over of India's triumph.
Talking about his decision bowl out his regular bowlers before the final over, Kohli said that he had a conversation with his captaincy predecessor and his vice-captain before deciding to take the call. "I was thinking about the 46th over (to go with Kedar/Shankar). I was talking with both of them (Rohit and Dhoni). If they (Bumrah and Shami) take wickets, we'll be right in the game and that's exactly what happened," captain Kohli said in the post-match presentation."
Kohli threw the ball to his go-to bowler Bumrah in the 46th over and the pacer responded by picking up the wickets of Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins. Shami gave him good company as India managed to stretch the game to the final over with Australia requiring 11 runs to win. Vijay Shankar was subsequently handed the ball and he turned hero by dismissing the well-set Marcus Stoinis of the very first ball. Two balls later, Vijay scalped the last batsman Adam Zampa with a Yorker to script a famous victory for India.
Kohli showered praise on the bowler while reiterating the importance of the experience Dhoni and Rohit bring to the table.
"He (Shankar) just put the ball in the right areas. He showed great composure with both bat and the ball; a good game for him. Both are experienced, it's always nice to speak them. Rohit is the vice-captain and MS has been there for a long time. These guys watch the game so keenly. I have a word with the bowler as well, invariably all of them are on the same page," the skipper said.
India will look to wrap up the five-match series in the third ODI which will be played in Ranchi on March 8.