India v Sri Lanka, CB series, Hobart

A belated glimpse of India's ability

Towards the end of a long and failure-filled tour, India managed to lift themselves and conjure a scarcely believable victory

Sidharth Monga at Bellerive Oval

February 28, 2012

Comments: 115 | Text size: A | A

Ah, India, we've been expecting you. And this is how you arrive. Two days after even your captain, the man who loves to strike when everybody else has given up hope, had given up, not desperate enough to even check the playing conditions for some backdoor route. At a time when you are struggling to put four fit bowlers on the field. Two days after your captain said you needed to restrict oppositions to 200 to win the game, given how bad the batting had been. And now you chase 321 in 36.4 overs, the quickest such achievement with 300-plus totals. And now you wait for three days, hoping you have inflicted enough psychological damage on Sri Lanka that they lose again.

However, even if India don't make it to the finals, managing to keep their chances alive for three more days itself is a huge achievement. To just come out on one final day, at a time when it was difficult to enjoy cricket, to put behind them that yearning for home and some time away from constant challenges and scrutiny, to attain a bonus point after their bowlers had been disappointing, it defies belief. Why, on the flight from Sydney to Hobart a few members of the team were making plans of returning home.

Some others, though, felt they had nothing to lose, and they didn't want to hold back. There is something dangerous about those who have lost it all. They become unpredictable. You could have predicted India putting a strong show on the field and restricting Sri Lanka to a gettable target, but not this comeback after having conceded the tournament's first 300.

One of those men with nothing to lose was Virat Kohli, India's only centurion on this tour so far. He spoke about the challenge of such long and unsuccessful tours, how difficult it was to pull themselves up for this last match, well at least they had to play it like it was their last. "It is mentally very tiring," Kohli said. "When you are winning you can stay on tour for five months. You won't mind a single day, but when you are not doing well as a team it is really difficult to hold yourself together mentally.

"Physically it is not that much of a challenge because you have breaks in between. But to hold yourself mentally is the biggest challenge for a cricketer, and I won't say I was not feeling mentally tired or mentally very sad sometimes, but there is no running away from it. You need to get up and come to the field and give your 100% the next day. So I have probably stored in my system that you can't run away from it."


Virat Kohli's hundred kept India's hopes alive in the CB series, India v Sri Lanka, CB series, Hobart, February 28, 2012
Virat Kohli: "To hold yourself mentally (on a long tour) is the biggest challenge for a cricketer" © Getty Images
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Kohli spent the last two days not thinking about cricket. Just getting away from it all. When his family called from India and spoke about cricket, he hung up. "I said, 'Please don't talk about cricket, please don't tell me to do it in the last game because I am not even thinking of it.' We were all staying as relaxed as possible because to be honest we had nothing to lose. This was one game for us, we had to give it our all. Just wanted to enjoy as much as possible, which didn't go probably our way in the first innings but the way we batted in the second innings I think it is going to lift up the spirits of the team."

From Virender Sehwag to Kohli, there was a freedom to India's play tonight. Clearly they have spent the whole tour playing with doubts in their minds, something that kept holding them back. Yes, Australia were good, but India too didn't try anything different. That resistance was missing. They just ran on a treadmill of defeat. Tonight you felt for the first time on the tour that they were enjoying their cricket. After the game, a few of them took the Segway drinks trolleys, and went around the ground in the cold Bellerive breeze with no one watching. It was a special moment. They got on the trolleys, leaned on the front bar, and spread their arms as if flying. Perhaps the idea of the last match did the trick for them.

"We are going to think each game is the last for us, and we are going to think of every game as do-or-die if we reach the finals," Kohli said. "We are going to be as expressive, I can assure you that. We are not going to think twice before trying to do something and not going to hesitate so if we do make it to the finals we are going to play like we did today."

What kept them subdued then? "Sometimes if you are not playing well, and if you are committing the same mistakes, you tend to go into a shell which is really difficult to come out of, but you need to take that extra risk like we did today to come out of that shell," Kohli said. "I can tell you that we have, and hopefully if we reach the finals then you will see a totally different Indian team out there."

What happened once India came out of the shell was something special. Mahela Jayawardene, a helpless fielding captain tonight, was reminded of Adam Gilchrist's onslaught against Sri Lanka in the World Cup final of 2007. For Kohli it was clearly his best ODI innings. Being so free in the mind is not a formula you can achieve. You can't simulate do-or-die situations everyday. The challenge for India, not only on this tour, which may or may not end in three days, is to find that mix of enjoying the game to go along with the skill, which remains an equally big ask.

Edited by Siddarth Ravindran

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by HuntingPonting on (March 2, 2012, 14:30 GMT)

to abiindia,

WOW what a prediction on SL V AUS @ MCG.... ha.... ha....ha...

As I wrote in my previous comment, some cricket fans do really need to have their heads examined.

I hear that instead of SAHARA being sponsor, BCCI has agreed to have KINGFISHER, as both the organizations currently projects same future.

Posted by HuntingPonting on (March 2, 2012, 5:12 GMT)

The thing about India when it comes to sports is that the press and the public are too fast to make hero's as well as villains. That game 11 of 2012 CB series will only show only one thing. That is the bleak state of cricket in a country of 1.1 billion people with young stars who can take the game forward, hampered and held back by aging brigade who refuses to accept that their time is up and to hang the boots. What is more ironic that some media personnel who have become darlings of these cricketing uncles, still routes for them knowing very well that they are destroying their own country's cricketing future. Indian cricket loving public must also understand that transitions take time and during that period there can be bad losses, but it will be for a good future. For flag bearers of cricketing uncles, I say ""No one is indispensable".

Posted by abiindia on (March 1, 2012, 17:22 GMT)

my first prediction was indian would win in 35 overs, but just above 36, tomorrow match would be 320 - 340 score by aus, SL 190 - 210 all out. watson might score a century. if any one wanted to know look my previous prediction a day before the match ind v/s sl

Posted by Naresh28 on (March 1, 2012, 9:26 GMT)

KOHLI has given me hope(as a fan) of INDIAN TEAM revival. I had stopped watching games after they lost continually in Oz. There are others - especially youngsters in that team who have capablity. The fielding standards were so high in the one T20 that Oz commentators were stunned. This is what is required of Indian team be it tests, ODI or T20.

Posted by   on (March 1, 2012, 8:13 GMT)

@Binod Kafle In ODI's can you rate SL's 443/9 vs Netherlands better than 438/9 by SA Vs Oz? Thrasing a weak team on an off day is nothing great compared to that against good attack. Same case with T20I..260 vs weakened Kenyan bowling attack cant be called as the best record to hold. If you can consider all these India scored 400+ on 4 occasions(Vs SL,SA,Ber,WI) where SL did it only twice(Neth,Ind). Then who is the best???

Posted by agupta429 on (March 1, 2012, 5:09 GMT)

@MIHINDU Rajaratne... As an Indian, I have been a big fan of Sri Lanka since 1996.. but at this point all Indians want Lankans to lose this one hehe

Posted by SamRoy on (March 1, 2012, 5:01 GMT)

People think I am jealous of Tendulkar. Why the hell should I be jealous of my countryman? He is all time great (even Rahul Dravid isn't one). But my point of view is Tendulkar very seldom scores when India needs him to score (in 50-50 situations) in test matches where if he scores a 75 India will win the match. He either scores when everybody has batted well (we either win or draw) or everybody fails (we inevitably lose).

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 20:38 GMT)

Well if Indian cricket team are flat track bullies then the aussies are flat track duds LoL...come to India, we will be waiting haha :D

Posted by meck on (February 29, 2012, 19:32 GMT)

great inning by kohli...guys u remember the days wen dada was thre captain..those days indian team was able to reach the finals easily...but they lost in final...but dis team is totally diffrent from that team...if they reach the finals...then surely they will come back as a winner...

Posted by mallamange on (February 29, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

@Varun Anand , you should have said .. " I rest my case" ... lol

Posted by JackJak on (February 29, 2012, 15:29 GMT)

Sri lanka, australia, india, pakistan south africa are all fixers and at the mercy of India big time...So we know what can happen in cricket. England r the only team by contrast relatively decent and in a way a bit untouched by India's big money. So please dont think this is all real..nothing more than WWF free style wrestling for you..This is the state of cricket today in the hands of India..the Money God!

Posted by Harry0009 on (February 29, 2012, 14:59 GMT)

May be we should remind India that it's a 40 over game every time they bat!. Jokes apart, one of the finest display of batting by India after one of the worst ever tours India have ever had in the past 10 years. Whatever worse had to happen has gone, and may be this would be the turnaround India have been looking for long since the away series to England. None would have hoped such a demolition of SL attack considering India could not even chase 250 the previous game against Aussies which was more in our hands than this one! I would not mind even if India does not go to finals but at least they should be consistent and the way they lost their earlier games should remind them not long ago they were World Champs

Posted by zico123 on (February 29, 2012, 14:54 GMT)

Kohli should tell himself he has the potential to be the best ODI and Test player in the world, he should show the same to the world

Posted by djkaveesh on (February 29, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

Congratz india.. its furious... wish u da all best sri lanka on friday match.. :) :)

Posted by Harmony111 on (February 29, 2012, 12:24 GMT)

LOL LOL LOL. Sri Lanka couldn't make in 50 overs what India made in 37 overs and it is India who is a Flat Track Bully!!! What is Sri Lanka then? A Flat Track Turtle?

Posted by csowmi7 on (February 29, 2012, 10:42 GMT)

India have won tests in every nation in the world and have achieved most of its greatness in juicy bouncy wickets. Unlike England who were whitewashed a number of times in India and now Pakistan. Even Ireland and Bangldesh are better than them on flat tracks.

Posted by csowmi7 on (February 29, 2012, 10:41 GMT)

According to India bashers all pitches where Indian batsmen score runs are flat tracks. I suppose despite the spell bowled by Bracewell Hobart is a flat pitch because of Kohli's ton. The Perth wicket is also a flat wicket because of India's victory in 2007. Lets not forget Durban, flat as a pancake. The 2007 cb series finals played in Sydney and Brisbane are surely flat tracks. Nottingham a batting paradise. Now how about Johannesburg? The entire t20 world cup and 2003 world cup were played on flat lifeless wickets in south Africa I suppose.

Posted by SKamaraj on (February 29, 2012, 10:36 GMT)

Maruthudlft, where are you mate? All that crooning about all Srilankan's having 60 times more courage than any Indian inspite of coming from a country that is 60 times smaller!!! Well, you saw what we can do when we put our minds to it..India 2, SL 1 (the tie was due to Dhoni's goof up in batting so slowly). Eat your hearts out Lankans. Look at your cricketers' records outside the sub continent and you will know why they have been beaten by every side away and at home recently. Atleast India never get thrashed at home like SL !!!!! 320 runs in 36 overs - a blot on SL's cricketing history guys. Now, it's time for most of SL players to retire from tests and play in IPL only (just like Malinga has done.. he he he).

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 10:23 GMT)

come on guys...stop arguing...this is a cricket match ...india played out of their skins and outplayed sl team....sl fans accept it...india always having a very heavy batting line up and we all know it can fire any time...all credit to india on the day...but dont get too carrierd away with that..sl team is good in bouncy and flat tracks as well unlike india...today we had the flat track and obviously india better off in this track and they showed it very well..those are the good points in both teams..sl fan.

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

Reg the comments about Indian batsmen being flat track bullies:

1.) How is a fast track bully is better than flat track bully? Don't both the tracks require skills albeit different ones?

2.) Is Hobart a sub-continental wicket? In that case, SL should have scored 360 plus, not 320.

3.) Kohli has scored a hundred in Perth, a lone indian centurion of this series. Flat track bully tag does not apply to him.

4.) Indians lost 3 wickets, that of , Sehwag, Sachin and Gambhir ; Who among these is a flat track bully?

5.) Bowlers who bowl unplayable spells in green wickets become toothless in brown wickets. (Ex: James Anderson). Are they better than flat track bully bowlers? (Ex: Harbhajan)

Finally, if you want to know who a real flat track bully, don't look beyond our great Mahela Jayawardene. For beep's sake, look at his overseas record, before even start talking about indian players.

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

@ Harsh Lahiri: FYKI Sri Lanka holds the record for the highest scores in all 3 formats of Int'l cricket: T20I, ODI & Test. So what u want to prove, they can score anything in anytime, got it?

Posted by Big_CricInfo_fan on (February 29, 2012, 9:15 GMT)

@Jeneal Henry: Where were you all this while, Henry? Read the comment posted on "February 29 2012, 07:54 AM GMT" to know the rules of qualification for finals. In short, it will never be the case of net runrate between India and Sri Lanka in this series.

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

@Samroy... to win matches a batsman needs to score runs and Tendulkar has done it more than any other batsman in the world. so plz stop being jealous.

Posted by LondonRaj on (February 29, 2012, 8:57 GMT)

There are several nice bits in this article one should take notice of. Very important for one's success I suppose. For example where it quotes "We are going to think each game is the ...". The failures or not being able to meet expectation has kept them subdued. Once they were free and without any burden, they showed they can achieve unacheivable. When you hear Australian commentators, they are always - no matter what - talking about how Australia can and will pull out a win from whatever bad position the team is in. Few bad performances, few defeats and there we go. Everyone from comments on articles, to various blogs, to so called legends start pointing fingres and conveniently forget what same players have achieved in the past. Common lets support our players through every think and thin, encourage them even if the things are going wrong for them.

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 8:47 GMT)

Its so obvious that srilankans are simply jealous......coz they can probably never make 320 in 36 overs.....even on the flatest track

Posted by spinkingKK on (February 29, 2012, 8:37 GMT)

Kohli you made us proud. Fantastic knock. Yes you are right. This is the way to play. Why bother too much? Always play freely. If you know you can play a shot, why not execute it? If the bowler got a trick up his sleeve for those shots and if the fielder comes up with something special to catch, so be it. It is a competition and if the opposition got some tricks, they will succeed sometimes. But, not always. If a certain shot gets someone out most of the time, they have to think of cutting that shot off and practice on it. Kohli's wristy glide from the outside offstump to the midwicket is not convincing. He even did that against Srilanka and was almost caught. I think that was the turning point, because I saw Kohli getting very upset about it. Since then, Kohli changed his approach and kept striking the ball with power than using too much wrist. Anyway, having said all these, I have to admit that India won mainly because SriLanka bowled and fielded very very poorly.

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 8:18 GMT)

India has PROVEN beyond doubt that they ARE the world ODI champs still. India as a country is progressing due this ABILITY of "THINKING OUT OF THE BOX" perspective. Congrats India, Let go Sri Lanka.

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 7:59 GMT)

"Indian team is like a rocket, it will not fly untill the tail is on fire" its a same scenario as if by waking up early if one can get good health and wealth than the milkmen and paperboys would be rich and muscular, So don't worry and perform only when it is needed the most and preserve your energy for the final act... although a risky proposition for the outfit..

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 7:54 GMT)

For those Srilankan Fans who are thinking about NRR(Net Run Rate), check the CB series rules first. In this CB series, the NRR has lowest priority. 1st comes head-Head clashes who won most of the games in h-h they go to final. If SL lose to AUS than for Srilanka there is not chance to go to final. If they (SL) want to go final than they HAVE to win the last game against AUS. So we Indians praying for AUS to win the final league game.

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 7:10 GMT)

For all those who are harping on about the net run rate, please check the points table page for the rules that have been agreed upon by all teams for this series, as to who will have the right to play the finals in case the points are tied.

Posted by pitch_curator on (February 29, 2012, 7:10 GMT)

Just to look at the other side of the coin, it looks like all Australian and English fast bowlers are just green track bullies and not skillful like Indian bowlers because Indian bowlers consistently keep the opposition batsmen to a lower total than what the Indian Batsmen score on flat tracks. Kudos to the Indian bowlers.

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 6:48 GMT)

@ Jeneal Henry: India will go through because India have won more games between India and Sri Lanka in this Series... India 2: 1 Sri Lanka, 1 was a tie

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 6:37 GMT)

@Jeneal Henry: sorry to disappoint you, but it's not that easy for Sri Lanka. They HAVE to beat Australia to enter the finals. In this series, it's not the run rate, but head-to-head count which takes precedence in case of equal points. India lead Sri Lanka 2-1. So if Sri Lanka lose to Australia even by 1 run or 1 wicket, they're out.

Posted by SamRoy on (February 29, 2012, 6:29 GMT)

Most people forget either of the two of the most important things when they are analyzing India's performance yesterday. Firstly, nothing can take away the humiliation of the 8-0 hiding which India suffered in the test series' in England and Australia. Secondly, purely as a one off ODI batting performances India's chase yesterday was one of the greatest ever. Scoring 321 in 36.4 overs doesn't happen everyday against a test standard bowling lineup on a not-so-small ground (whatever may be the condition of the pitch).

Posted by csowmi7 on (February 29, 2012, 6:29 GMT)

Whether it was a flat track or not 320 in 37 overs to stay alive in a competition against an ODI side which is in the top 5 in the ICC ratings is a feat in itself. Dont think people accused South Africa when they chased down 434. And since when has Hobart been a flat track. Wasn't it the same pitch where Australia were humiliated against New Zealand?

Posted by SamRoy on (February 29, 2012, 6:17 GMT)

@Majr I don't want Kohli to be India's next Tendulkar. How many test matches did Tendulkar win for India (2 or 3 at most - 0 away from home)? Except Tendulkar everyone Rahul, Laxman , Ganguly , Sehwag and Kumble have won India tests away from home. Dhoni hasn't but he is no proper batsmen. I rather wan't him to be India's Steve Waugh. Tough talking, sledging, fighter who never gives up and wins India countless test matches.

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 6:00 GMT)

A great win, specially in the circumstances where Team India was n't looking in good shape, not only for this tour but for the future tour's also. This win has shown Team India strength as a mix blend of experience & young energetic cricketers & will definitively boost morale . Plz selectors tell Mr. Dhoni in spite of giving rubbish comments on Senior players ,he should focus on his batting skills( 14 runs of 49 balls in last match, Amazing!!!!!!) & WHY THE HELL IRFAN PATHAN WAS NOT SELECTED FOR THE MATCH AGAINST SRILANKA????

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 5:46 GMT)

So this game Answers all critics (EX Cricketers and Non Cricketers) that truly you need seniors and youngsters in the team to do really well! The seniors shows the way to youngsters and they(youngsters) finish it off in style.!And that is why it is called a Team Game! Well done Virat Kohli!

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 5:12 GMT)

It was a very good batting track but that doesn't mean 320 in 40 overs was an easy task. India's battng was superb. Malinga did end up bowling some bad balls, but it's hard to get it centimetre perfect after you've seen some good balls get smashed.

Posted by abiindia on (February 29, 2012, 5:10 GMT)

among three team, india is easiest entrant to the cup.....

Posted by csowmi7 on (February 29, 2012, 5:03 GMT)

@ king owl I wonder if Perth was a flat wicket when India won? Or Durban and Nottingham perhaps flat wickets indeed. Maybe the 2003 world cup and 2007 t20 performance was due to flat wickets in South Africa. The 2007 cb series and the 1983 world cup were played on flat dead wickets weren't they? yes the Indian team is bad on fast wickets but countries like England who were whitewashed by Pakistan and India and humiliated by Ireland and Bangladesh are just terrible on flat wickets.

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 4:53 GMT)

I beleive cricket is based on practice if you are pactising on flat track you can play better on flat track and if you are playing on fast track you can play better on fast track. You can find the better team only if the both playing nations plays on a track which is diffrent from their practice track. From this series INDIA is better than SRI LANKA as they are ahead 2-1 but almost 3-0. Keep it India.

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 4:41 GMT)

right now India has the same amount of points as Sri Lanka, even if sri lanka loose to Australia they can still qualify because their net runrate is much better than indias'... Indians have to hope that Sri Lnka loose handsomely to Australia....

Posted by Percy_Fender on (February 29, 2012, 4:40 GMT)

It was nice seeing such a sensible comment as the one from Mugundhan. Kohli is very good no doubt but he is no Tendulkar and never will be because temperamentally they are as different as a saint is from a rockstar.The thing is that all teams have their strengths and weaknesses. Like what types of pitches they are best playing on.That does'nt make one team better or worse than the others. It is the cumulative win loss percentage that says who the best are.Not doing well in Australia is probably because a team has not yet got used to those wickets. Since that is home for them Australians will naturally be more comfortable playing there.That is what we should understand. It is not as if Australians are species of a variety other than human beings.They are very much like the others even if the address each other as mates.If a team is well conditioned there is no doubt that teams will be more equal than they are allowed to be by the tour itinery prepared by the home board.

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 4:37 GMT)

Very fine performance by India, but after this victory everything will be forgotten what happened in Australia earlier failures.that is about sehwags,sachins batting failures and dhoni's captaincy failures. and again and again they will be picked for next series

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 4:24 GMT)

Kohli was immense! Fantastic to see a bit of grunt from the Indian batting lineup - and Kohli has cemented his place in this team, both Test and ODI, for years to come. Just a very mature, yet explosive display.

I hope two things after this match: 1. India make it through to the finals 2. Australia can play this India, and not the one that was thoroughly demoralised by us during the Test summer.

I'm an Aussie, but I'm much more interested in a contest than one side crushing the other under thumb. Plus it would be a nice twist if Australia came up against a resurgent India. All in hope i guess...

Posted by JamesSmithee on (February 29, 2012, 4:00 GMT)

Good Luck for Sri Lanka in Geneva

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 3:11 GMT)

Indians play better in favourable batting conditions or even pitches in One Day Matches. Now what so wrong in it. Some other teams play better in favourable bowling conditions. I would say spinning pitches are better than seaming wickets where the bats men are equally tested. How would you counter that? Its a matter of opinion, right?! Well played, India. Its not just a win but a win chasing 320 in just 36.4.

Posted by dan_loves_cricket on (February 29, 2012, 3:06 GMT)

I don't understand why some of the Sri lankan fans undermine the efforts of Kohli and fellow Indian players saying that the wicket was flat.Learn to give credit where it's due.on the day Indians played really good cricket and they simply thrashed all Lankan bowlers.I remember in mid 90's how jayasuriya used to destroy attacks in india and took the bowlers to the cleaners.and if lankan fans enjoyed that,i see no reason why they shouldn't enjoy this...Kohli is one heck of a player and I wouldn't mine paying few bucks to see him play the way he did..more importantly it's really nice to see the youngsters from various nations step ahead to keep the game alive for the next decade.It's all nice seeing Kohli's,chandimal's,Levi's,williamson's ajmals,patinsons ect, taking the place of Tendulkars,pontings,Lara's,Murali's warne's and mcgraths ect,..KOHLI YOU BEAUTY!!!! TAKE A BOW!!!!!! - SRI LANKAN FAN

Posted by Rukky on (February 29, 2012, 2:54 GMT)

to whom who say indians are flat track bully.....

i don't think this is exact flat track.... if it is,,, why australia could make only 136 is 1st Inn and 233 in 2nd Inn against Newzealand in test series and also lost to 7 runs... why????

Posted by sandy_bangalore on (February 29, 2012, 2:50 GMT)

No doubt about this: This team needs dead wickets(like the one in Hobart) to show their true 'potential'. And amusing to see the Indian media celebrating as if this was a world cup win!! 1 run chase on a flat pitch against an attack having an off day, and suddenly all is well in Indian cricket

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 2:42 GMT)

Having seen this game- Australia will definitely not want to meet India in the finals..They may lose to srilanka purposely to face lankans in the final. If Australia loses the next game, it would surely mean they are afraid to face India in finals. Apparently, everything is in Australia's hands.

Posted by   on (February 29, 2012, 2:40 GMT)

Well Said Kohli!!!! Hope we make to finals and experience a good Cricket :)

Posted by Simoc on (February 29, 2012, 2:15 GMT)

That was something special from Kohli. He had support this time but his batting was as good as it gets at any level.

Posted by Mugundhan on (February 28, 2012, 23:47 GMT)

When we win, we use lots of hyporbole, if we lose we curse our team... Where is the balance? Commentators use beautiful language, it is their job but fans need to keep the perspective, enjoy the win but please do not deitify Kohli

Posted by samudralakiku on (February 28, 2012, 22:52 GMT)

@MikeyRos - I agree with you. But based on your assessment others are fast track bullies. When they can not win against India on flat tracks, then they have a big weekness just like India does on fast tracks. I am not writing this as an Indian fan. I am outraged at their performances over the last few months. But stop being a hypocrite. A win in an Internation game is a win no matter how it happened. Which ever country you belong to or support, this kind of win is quite an feat.

Posted by CricketChat on (February 28, 2012, 22:44 GMT)

Aus would be better off with Ind in final than SL, given how they decimated Ind in all formats on this tour. I am sure they will be desperate to win the last league match against SL.

Posted by doubtingthomas on (February 28, 2012, 22:35 GMT)

Please do not act as if this team can be exonerated for it's past performances. Fortunes do not change overnight. This is no more than a flash in the pan. Corrective actions should be taken, considering the record breaking dismal season of cricket played by Team India.

Posted by playitstraight on (February 28, 2012, 22:32 GMT)

@Asadpk - lol! just to let u know, the matches are being played at Australia, not in India/Sri Lanka!! Australian pitches are not flat, it's just that the Sri Lankan bowlers bowled a lot of rubbish and filth, even the king of yorkers, malinga, was helpless and went for over 12 runs an over!

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 22:31 GMT)

if india wins..they are flat track bullies and if they lose they are blamed...srilanka is also flat track bully but what they achieved in 50 overs we achieved in 36 overs..y is that people are so negative about their own team...be critical and not negative...if india struggles with bounce the other half of the world struggle with low bounce an spin and slow wickets...this is the first time they played to potential..and aussie commentators ran out of adjectives..cherish what we have..dont be negative always

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 22:26 GMT)

The best way to stop the wagging sl tongues...let the bat do the talking.India on form is more than a match for sl and they have inflicted some memorable defeats on sl in the immediate past.That should teach them a lesson on the topic "when the bat does the talking"

Posted by MikeyRos on (February 28, 2012, 22:16 GMT)

LOL at all the Indian fans celebrating this consolation win on a dead hobart wicket. Once again India live up to their name - FLAT TRACK BULLIES, HOPELESS ON BOUNCY WICKETS!

Posted by Wisocrat on (February 28, 2012, 22:05 GMT)

I fail to understand this flat track bully comment. How is it okay to be a fast track bully and bad to be a flat track bully?

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 22:05 GMT)

Great effort Kohli. One of the best individual ODI batting displays I've ever seen. What a pity none of your batting team mates have had the capacity to stand up with you throughout the entire tour. Despite it being on a flat track and against SL who India usually beat, you've still got to have the skill and application to go out and do it when it matters. However, the same old issues with nearly everyone else in the team. Team India needs to have a radically different look when you return home - out with the old guard and in with the new immediately. Too little, way too late on this tour.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (February 28, 2012, 22:04 GMT)

@Asadpk: From your comment it's evident you lack logic and intelligence. If the Indian team are flat track bullies then they are DAMN GOOD in being that. No team can even come close to that ability. Flat track or not, chasing 300+ in any form of cricket is HARD and to do it in 36.4 overs is BRUTAL. I love that and I DON'T CARE if they are flat track bullies as long as they beat teams to pulp. Enjoy your sour grapes my friend.

Posted by mark2011 on (February 28, 2012, 21:53 GMT)

pls dont jump on too much on this match win.. it is one of the flratest track, imgaine even SL had score some 100 runs 25 overs, and rest 25 they got 220, so almost 9 runs per over, given the ground also not big in one side boundary it is easer to score with poor ballin by SL. DONT FOR GET THAT SL CHASED 417 RUNS AGIANST INDIA IN INDIA ABOUT 2-3 YEARS BACK... ENDED UP JUST 2 RUNS SHORT ... So dont thing that only India can do like this.

Posted by Vkarthik on (February 28, 2012, 21:44 GMT)

Hope this nothing to lose attitude shown in this match bring them back to form. It is very hard when there is a collective slump in form. Finally they got one right. Australia struggled on this very same pitch.

Posted by NoPitchIsDead on (February 28, 2012, 21:37 GMT)

This match started on a uneven nore. SriLanka can even afford to lose the match if India do in more than 40 overs. Other hand, India have one and only option to win in 40 overs. It is like having a 400 meter running race with one person starting ahead at 200m. India deserve the accolades.Give it freely atleast now guys.

Posted by ShreJ on (February 28, 2012, 21:25 GMT)

With Kohli's temperment and skill, the BCCI will not need to worry about what willl happen after the legends retire. ROCK ON KOHLI

Posted by Buggsy on (February 28, 2012, 21:24 GMT)

This is exactly why over the hill players like Tendulkar and reckless, talentless hacks like Sehwag need to make way for players like Kohli. I've said it before, Kohli will be captain next time India tours Australia. He's just shown that not only does he have the talent but the mental toughness to go with it.

Posted by Unmesh_cric on (February 28, 2012, 21:20 GMT)

As an Indian fan, it's difficult to digest this team's failures on this tour, especially in Test matches. But for today's performance, they deserve a pat on the back. Kudos.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 21:18 GMT)

@Asadpk Don't insult yours and everyone's intelligence and root for the Pak team which lost both ODI series and T20 series on flat tracks to England... Just to remind you that the same English team had gone back licking their wounds 5-0 from India.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 21:08 GMT)

Some guys are over here saying that this was easy victory just because this was flat track and Indians are flat track bullies but why they forget that if it was flat track for India it was also flat for Sri Lanka they should have score more than 400 according to this track.. but they dint... and if this would have been pacy or bowling friendly track India would not have conceded 320 runs that for sure...

so don't just underestimate the performance of kohli.. just because this was flat track.. he has also proved himself on tough tracks... in pressure ... give little bit respect to his gem inning... if the track was easy then pressure was more than ever before. And still sachin and sehwag crumbled in that pressure but kohli dint.

well done kohli you are really gem of this team.... congrats.. i salute you for this performance under pressure.. you are really mentally tough...

Posted by cricmantra on (February 28, 2012, 21:05 GMT)

Mr AsadPK, easy to critique but i think Srilanka also played on the same track. and guessing by your reaction and your id - some reason Pakistan also just win on home turf ( dubai is lahore without terrorism ). England lost outside home, Aussies lost when in India.So flat track n home is always a plus but for both sides.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 21:03 GMT)

Virat the Boss will dominate for long long time

Posted by KENNETH2007 on (February 28, 2012, 21:02 GMT)

Well played ...we need more players of this calibre...he was just blazing on the field...I was flabbergasted by the way he toyed Malinga...but still those questions arise...why no bouncers where not used against still a mystery..... I had hope on Raina and Jadeja but they are for sure flat track bullies .....so if we WANT to show some fight in WC 2015 WE SHOULD CREAT SUCH A TEAM WITH PLAYERS LIKE KOHLI,IRFAN WHO SHOWED THE SPIRIT TO FIGHT

Posted by puneet_usa on (February 28, 2012, 21:00 GMT)

@@@RMEHTA69(@@@@Brumby90 @@@ANUSHUL@@@- DO YOU REALLY FOLLOW CRICKET AND IT MAKES ME WONDER IF YOU WOULD HAVE PAID MORE ATTENTION ON OTHER SECTIONS OF THE POINTS TABLE RATHER THAN JUST RUN RATE- YOU PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN UP TO SPEED ON THINGS HERE AS YOU WOULD HAVE FIGURED SOMETHING ELSE OUT AS WELL..RUN RATE DON'T EVEN COME INTO PICTURE- INDIA AND SL PLAYED 4 MATCHES- INDIA WON-2, SL-1 AND ONE MATCH WAS A TIE SO AS PER THE CB SERIES RULES A TEAM WITH MORE WINS OVER THE OTHER WILL GO AHEAD TO THE FINAL PHASE IF THE POINTS ARE SHARED....CAN I MAKE IT MORE CLEARER FOR YOU OR ELSE CHECK THE STATS AND FACTS BEFORE POSTING COMMENTS.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 21:00 GMT)

not sure if anyone was following commentary, the espncricinfo commentator stated last time Dilshan hit 150 , SL lost, again he hot 160, they lost,

Posted by Asadpk on (February 28, 2012, 20:28 GMT)

how they did it? just 3 words - Flat Track Bullies

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 20:10 GMT)

Seriously, this Indian team is crazy.. they couldn't chase a total of 250 in the game before, but managed a chase of 321 in 36 overs.. how do they do that?

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 20:10 GMT)

and they were sending ashwin to handle media...salute to spirit of kohli DO OR DIE...

Posted by abiindia on (February 28, 2012, 20:02 GMT)

it is very sad, srilanka have four finals in one tournament. today with india, and again with aus, and in two real finals to get a cup. very sorry state.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 19:56 GMT)

"We are going to think each game is the last for us, and we are going to think of every game as do-or-die if we reach the finals," Kohli said. "We are going to be as expressive, I can assure you that. We are not going to think twice before trying to do something and not going to hesitate so if we do make it to the finals we are going to play like we did today." WAY TO GO...............................

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 19:52 GMT)

proud proud proud!..well done

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 19:48 GMT)

great performance. impossible target achieved very easily. happy days are here again. we have shown great resilience and commitment atleast towards the end.well done India viva--indian cricket

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (February 28, 2012, 19:46 GMT)

They are not called WORLD CHAMPIONS for nothing. This team can massacre any bowling and any team IF they play fearless cricket. I thought they were way too timid against an average Aussie team and also way too indecisive against a decent SL team. But after this victory, whether they make it to the CB Series finals or not, India will take a lot of confidence with them to Bangladesh for the Asia Cup. India are the Asian champions as well and this performance would make them even stronger to crush other teams in homely conditions. I don't think India are gonna be sad if they fail to make it to the final stages of this competition and that was evident from Dhoni's body language in the presentation ceremony following the game. He looked calm and cool as usual but there was this aura of quiet happiness; first for winning the game and second, for coming to the close of a long tour away from home. India have a bright future ahead if they invest in youth. The selectors can make that happen.

Posted by LAKingsFan on (February 28, 2012, 19:37 GMT)

Kohli, thanks for hitting the baseball pitcher like that. I loved every bit of it.

Posted by anuAddict on (February 28, 2012, 19:24 GMT)

About 10 years ago, from a hopeless situation against England at Lords emerged two stars and a fighting performance that seemed to lift team's spirits and belief in their ability to new levels. It was Yuvraj, Kaif defying odds to chase down 300+ in what seemed a lost cause. Kaif fell wayside, but Yuvraj stayed on, more importantly it seemed to start something of a golden era after which India performed relatively well in away tours. No connection to the match itself, just a coincidence or may be belief that we cannot always put our fingers on. Its a long shot, but is this the time the young guns become the leaders of the pack who believe rather than waiting for the missing spark from the senior for loong time?

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 28, 2012, 19:24 GMT)

India and Pakistan are very similar in a sense, they both are pretty poor teams that can run away with a game when their opponents are wither under prepared or over played. Apart from that, they are both two middle-ranking teams.

Posted by Nampally on (February 28, 2012, 19:03 GMT)

It was a magnificient innings from Kohli that carried India to victory surpassing all the expectations of chasing a total of 320 runs in <40 overs!A run rate of > 8 runs/over is a remarkable feat and very few have achieved this in the ODI cricket history. Moreover after being totally downcast & on the verge of certain elimination, rising up to chase that total with heart & soul is equally remarkable. Hats off to Team India on this magnificient win. I commented several times in these cricinfo columns that on paper India has the strongest team if they choose the right XI. The top 3 batsmen in the Indian team are the tops in the world. Add Kohli to that & if they are in form then no total is too big to chase. The bowling has balance if Dhoni selects the right guys.Pathan as all rounder is one seamer backed up by Praveen, ZAK (if fit) & Yadev. Ashwin & Rahul Sharma backed up by Sehwag provide spin.However using Jadeja instead of Rahul has totally degraded the Indian bowling to < average.

Posted by zuber21886 on (February 28, 2012, 18:41 GMT)

For Indians even if Indian team doesn't reach to finals, this is the major win on this tour

Posted by Harish1015 on (February 28, 2012, 18:37 GMT)

Virat Kohli has got excellent class, good technique and good temperament as well. All he needs to do is to deliver these kind of performances consistently and keep calm off the field. He is an excellent modern day cricketer with good batting and fielding skills. He needs to control his aggression off the field sometimes. There are more chances for him to become another Sachin Tendulkar for India provided he behaves more controlled off the field. Good luck Virat.....

Posted by chandru66 on (February 28, 2012, 18:21 GMT)

Ill tell you what happened for the past 2 months. I am just reminded of a football player(I think it's Pele) after Brazil's wordcup win. He felt that erverything was over for him after the world cup win that he had nothing to look forward to. Everything seemed trivial. That's what would have happened to Sachin & co after the world cup win. Especially the seniors, what else don they need to achieve? even the youngsters, they do not have any aim or any bar to raise. But now once again given a challenge, they relished it.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 18:21 GMT)

excellent stuff from indian team..... i never seen this kind of match... even the target it 440 or 450 they will get it easily.....

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 18:12 GMT)

Have you checked if there is a possibility to crucify Dhoni for not knowing the backdoor route? May be you can crucify him and the team repeatedly until your expressions have really and totally reached the readers, rather than keep harping on it forever! Give 'em a break! They might do better without your posts!

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 18:10 GMT)

too little to late. the Kohli show all the way with cameos from Gambhir, Raina, Irfan and Dhoni in the ODIs so far the rest have been hopeless.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 18:03 GMT)

kohli is the only indian to make an century in both odi's and tests !! no other batsmen have even got a century in either one format !! proud to be a kohli fan !!

Posted by Mugundhan on (February 28, 2012, 17:35 GMT)

Look at us: When we win we use lots of hyperbole, when we lose we trash them Where is the middle ground? Pakistanis also do the same thing I dont see self assurance

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 17:10 GMT)

one victory people forgot all the humiliation and torment received.... and all started to talk like that we have already won the cb series... very funny

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 17:07 GMT)

wat will be even better to see is India win the CB series they have it in them to do it and they have down it more than once.. virat cleared all doubts that he is the best young batsman india have got at the moment by a country mile.

Posted by gyan_crick on (February 28, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

If Kohli continues to play with this consistency I guess he will tumble few batting records..and you never know may be thouse huge tendulkar's runs..though it would be too early too say that but right now all looks in that direction

Posted by CaughtAndBowled on (February 28, 2012, 16:58 GMT)

Sidharth, Get over it. Don't kid yourself! It was a flat track and Sri Lanka bowled pathetically hence India won. Nothing more than that. It is typical Indian mentality that we will all forget how bad India played through out the series over just three hour play!!

Roll on the IPL. Atleast no foreign team can win this.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 16:57 GMT)

I'll Just Say Superb, Mind Blowing one of the best performance i ever witnessed ( Raja Pakistani)

Posted by sameer997 on (February 28, 2012, 16:56 GMT)

Cant wait fr finals nowww

Posted by CricIndia208 on (February 28, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

Sri Lanka will not forget this battering ever. Dilshan 160, Sangakarra 105, 200 runs partnership all of that is meaningless. CONGRATULATIONS WORLD CHAMPIONS INDIA. GREATEST EVER RUN CHASE.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 16:42 GMT)

awesome team always backed them and it pays to see such a performance go team go

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 16:39 GMT)

this report is all about kohli what a courageous inning this was proud of u kohli

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

Note to Sri Lanka: Never underestimate the Heart of a Champion - S. Roy, USA

Posted by KingOwl on (February 28, 2012, 16:25 GMT)

A belated glimpse of India's ability "on flat tracks" - should have been the title.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 16:19 GMT)

da nxt 3 days is goin a HELL f 3 days for me....thank god m nt a class XII student...dont hav xam pressure on ma head....else m gonna face ma 1st Heart Attack...or Consecutive also...phewww..

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 16:18 GMT)

What kept them subdued? The bouncy and swinging pitches ofcourse...duuh. Finally a flat pitch, and everyone could score...c'mon now.

Posted by cricketeria on (February 28, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

Too little too late India. Sri Lanka are your favorite whipping boys, nothing new here. Virat Kohli is your ONE bright spot from this tour. Figure out what the problem is with the seniors. And send Virat at 3 or 4 in tests and one-dayers. Come on, wake up.

Posted by   on (February 28, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

This was the x-tra ordinary performance... I hope u all continue...

Posted by yusuf97 on (February 28, 2012, 15:49 GMT)

come on india ..enen if india is not able to go to the finals they will go home with a very high confidence and satisfaction which will be seen in the asia cup

Posted by A.Ak on (February 28, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

Dhoni always said he need a decent start from the openers that will help the middle order to get going. Finally it came today after very bad England tour and nearly the end of this tour. A decent opening stand and little support from fans and home media, will do it for India. Thats all they required. Hope Indian people learn to support particularly in bad times.

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Players/Officials: Virat Kohli
Series/Tournaments: Commonwealth Bank Series
Teams: India | Sri Lanka
Tournament Results
Australia v Sri Lanka at Adelaide - Mar 8, 2012
Australia won by 16 runs
Australia v Sri Lanka at Adelaide - Mar 6, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 8 wickets (with 34 balls remaining)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Brisbane - Mar 4, 2012
Australia won by 15 runs
Australia v Sri Lanka at Melbourne - Mar 2, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 9 runs
India v Sri Lanka at Hobart - Feb 28, 2012
India won by 7 wickets (with 80 balls remaining)
More results »
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News | Features Last 3 days