Bangladesh managed to stage a comeback after losing two early wickets, courtesy a 123-run stand for the third wicket between Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim, during their 2017 Champions Trophy semi-final against India at Edgbaston on Thursday.
The Indians started to panic at the middle and were desperate for a mistake or two from the Bangladesh batters.
Keeping that in mind, skipper Virat Kohli introduced part-timer Kedar Jadhav to the bowling attack for a much-needed breakthrough.
Jadhav immediately repaid Kohli's faith by dismissing both Tamim and Mushfiq, albeit off rather loose deliveries, as the Tigers eventually fell short of their desired target.
Kohli informed that he consulted with MS Dhoni before bringing Jadhav on to bowl and said this particular decision proved to be game changing for his side as the Tigers lost all their momentum thereafter, conceding the game at the end by a convincing margin of nine wickets.
“Wickets were honestly a bonus, Hardik [Pandya] went for a few in his first three overs, so we wanted to give him a bit of a break and cover up overs through Kedar, and with one left-hander batting, we knew that he has the ability to get in two, three, dot balls to the left-hander every over. But he ended up changing the whole game for us,” Kohli told the media in the post-match conference.
“Yeah, when moves like this pay off, I won't take the whole credit. Obviously I asked MS, as well, and we both decided that Kedar is a good option at that moment, and he bowled really well. I mean, credit to him. He doesn't bowl much in the nets, but he's a smart cricketer. He knows where the batsmen will get troubled, and if you can think like a batter when you're bowling, it's obviously a bit of an advantage to any bowler, so I think that he executed perfectly,” he said.
Both the semi-finals eventually turned out to be one-sided affairs with Pakistan romping past England in the first semi on Wednesday at Sophia Gardens.
Kohli however, rather than questioning the quality of the opponent, said teams these days don't give an inch to the opposition when they're in the driving seat.
“You know, in a big tournament, everyone wants to play good cricket. Everyone wants to finish games for the team, and you will see more clinical performances in tournaments like these because you don't want to give even one percentage of chance to the opposition. So you will see eight-wicket, nine-wicket victories. You will see sides getting bowled out under pressure. And the opposition will capitalise. Once you see an opportunity, you have to seize that particular moment and grab it with both hands, and [Thursday] we just felt like the wicket is so good, so there's no need for us to play a stupid shot and let the opposition in unnecessarily,” said Kohli.
He added, “We were able to rotate strike easily, and that's something we're working at in practice, so whatever we're doing in practice it's showing on the field, and we are practising smart, and that's why we're able to play in a manner that we're not putting ourselves under pressure. You will see these kind of results because teams obviously want to have absolute clear-cut victories and not give anything to the opposition.”