After India's 81-run victory against Sri Lanka in the rain curtailed must-win match, stand-in captain Virat Kohli praised his bowlers for bowling in the right areas and said he was proud of the team which showed a lot of character to bounce back on Tuesday at Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad.
At the start of the tri-series, Virat Kohli had said anything could happen with three good teams in the tournament and after starting the series with two losses, India came back strongly posting two big wins to top the points table and qualify for the final to be played on Thursday against Sri Lanka.
"When you have 3 good teams in the tournament, you never know what will happen. We did not focus on the rain coming in but just our skills. This team has shown a lot of character to bounce back like that. Proud of the way the boys have put in that effort," said Kohli during the post-match presentation ceremony.
After being put into bat by Sri Lanka on a tough pitch to bat on, India had a slow start and lost Shikhar Dhawan (15) early, but Rohit Sharma and Kohli forged a vital 49-run stand to steady the Indian innings. "When me and Rohit batted, we decided to go slow. That worked well for us. We had wickets in the end. Rohit played a good knock up the order," said the stand-in captain about the partnership.
By the time Dinesh Karthik got out when India had scored 111 in 27 overs, the weather changed and a heavy downpour, which lasted for over two hours, gave Sri Lanka a target of 178 in 26 overs.
With the pitch livened up after rain, Bhuvneshwar Kumar exploited the conditions to the hilt and bowled a stellar spell to knock Sri Lanka out of the match early on. Kumar finished with figures of 6-1-8 dismissing the top three early. The spinners took control from there on bundled out Lanka for a paltry 96.
"The bowlers responded beautifully. I like to give the bowlers all the credit and we fielded well too", added Kohli. Kumar, who was the man-of-the match said, "Proud to perform for my country. It helps my confidence. We wanted to do well as a bowling unit. I enjoyed bowling on this wicket. It was swinging and seaming a bit."