Mirpur: India's stand-in skipper Virat Kohli on Sunday said it was a good learning experience for him leading the side and he is proud of his young team-mates, who showed amazing resilience in the lost matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
India are virtually out of the tournament following the close one-wicket defeat against arch-rivals Pakistan. Kohli led the side in the absence of regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"It is a good learning experience for me. I am proud of the way the boys played in the last two matches. We almost pulled of both. It's a young team. I am pleased to the see the fight shown by the bowlers," Kohli said.
Talking about his strategy to rotate his bowlers quickly, Kohli said, "The idea was to not let them get used to one bowler. The guys put in a good effort after a modest total.
"Mishra was getting it to turn and I kept him for the end. Ashwin was confident of bowling in the death, so I kept his two overs as well."
Kohli said, "it could have gone either way, but we were 20-30 runs short."
However, Kohli admitted that they have made multiple mistakes in past few matches leading to the team's downfall.
"We are making three-four mistakes in a game which is becoming costly in the end. But people learn from mistakes.
"Hope, we don't repeat our mistakes."
Kohli also praised veteran leggie Amit Mishra for his efforts with the ball having made it to the playing XI after a long time and also said that it's not a "shock" that his team won't play the finals in all likelihood.
"I'm not shocked at all... I'm proud of the boys and the way they fought while defending such a small total. Sometimes, you can get away in T20s but in ODIs you have to show a lot of character. Mishra just gave away 28 runs. It was a commendable effort by every one in the team."
Pakistan needed 10 runs from last five balls with one wicket in hand and Afridi smashed two sixes off Ashwin to complete the chase.
"The plan was to take the risk and hope he mistimes one. But the credit goes to him (Afridi). He cleared the boundary two or three times and they won.
"Afridi is always a big hitter and we thought if we could bowl a carrom ball and if he mistimed it, we could have a match in our hands," Kohli explained.
It was Mishra's 2 for 28 that had turned the game in favour of India before Pakistan finally snatched it from them.
Lavishing praise on Mishra, Kohli said: "I have always been impressed by Amit Mishra. He is an attacking bowler who always like to have an extra fielder inside even with a small target to defend. He was brilliant with the ball."
Known to show a lot of temper, Kohli is showing little emotions as captain and he said it's about getting matured.
"It's more to do with the number of games that I've played than others. It's about having composure in different situations. That's how you learn. Even the guys respond to my ideas.
"It's good to be captaining out there in the middle. Everyone is giving their 100 percent. I'm learning every game and using resources with best of our ability."
India now have only a mathematical chance to make the final and Kohli said they're just keeping their fingers crossed.
"We will just try and put a bonus point win. By March 4, we will know. We are just looking to improve every game."
Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said the jinx that they choke under tense chases has been broken with this win.
"It is really an important win and I am very happy because we played really well under pressure. We are labelled as bad chasers but Hafeez and Maqsood did well and Afridi finished it for us perfectly," he said.
When pointed that often when he is run out in a match, Pakistan emerge as winners, Misbah said, "I'd be happy to keep getting out if Pakistan win. If I don't score and Pakistan win nothing is better than this."
He also said, they were not looking ahead to the final yet, just taking one game at a time.
Mohammad Hafeez, adjudged Man of the Match for his fiery 75-run knock, said the way Pakistan won pleased him and that he has no problem batting at number three.
"The management wanted me to bat at number three and I am happy to perform."
Asked about his opening the bowling with his off-spin, he said, "whenever there is a left-hander, the captain asks me to bowl upfront and I am happy to deliver."
Talking about his 87-run partnership with Sohaib Maqsood (38) when Pakistan had lost four wickets at the score of 113, Hafeez said, "I had a chat with Maqsood about playing normally because the run-rate was not too daunting. And then Shahid Afridi finished it in the end. Want to dedicate the victory to the Pakistan people."
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