Champions Trophy: Win against Proteas our best performance so far, says Kohli

ICC Champions Trophy
India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to field vs South Africa in their final ICC Champions Trophy Group B game
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12 June, 2017

"Before going out in the middle, we had a chat in the huddle where I said I wanted to see everyone's intensity go up and that is conscious effort which I want to see from everyone in such a big game", said Kohli.

"This whole year‚ we ticked all the boxes".

Once South Africa were reduced to 142-4 with de Villiers and Miller back in the hut, it was about not letting the game drift away and keeping the target as low as possible. "There is more than enough talent, and we have just got to get it right when it matters most", an optimistic De Villiers said.

An overcast morning and a green tinged-pitch offer the promise of assistance for Pakistan's pacemen, although the ball has not generally swung early on during matches in this tournament.

"That's the last thing we did today".

Getting those runs on the benign Oval pitch was never going to be hard, nor were India in the mood to mess it up despite losing Rohit Sharma early.

"India‚ they do that very well - when the moments are big‚ they raise their game".

India bowled an astounding 141 dot balls which is equivalent to 23.3 maiden overs out of the 44.2 overs that South Africa batted.

With yet another early exit from the Champions Trophy 2017, South African captain AB De Villiers has insisted that despite the team's poor performance in the tournament, he can lead the team to a World Cup victory in 2019.

Du Plessis and De Kock also had a steady partnership of 40 runs for the second wicket before things went all awry.

"It's so hard to put all this pressure on AB and nearly blame him‚" he said. You have to lay it out in front of them - that this is what we did wrong, including me, and we need to take it on the chin. "We just came unstuck against a better team".

"Every guy in the team must take responsibility for not fulfilling his job today".

Their hopes of a substantial total rested on the shoulders of Faf du Plessis but his scratchy knock of 36 ended when he dragged a ball from medium-pacer Hardik Pandya on to his stumps.

"It was a complete performance in the field - we grabbed the chances that came our way", captain Kohli said at the presentation ceremony.

"I don't have an answer for you". I thought there was a run there.

Defending champions India qualified for the semi-finals of the tournament with as many as 12 overs to spare at the Oval.

Kohli felt that the game is all about who could play the shorter format of the game better. "I mean, obviously you think of wanting to get the team across the line and I am glad the boys turned up the way they did today (against South Africa)", he said. Rain played its part as Pakistan won the match by 19 runs following D/L method.


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