India batsman Virat Kohli has revealed he relished the pressure of facing Pakistan in Kolkata. The 27-year-old batsman scored an unbeaten 55 off 37 balls to guide India to a six-wicket win at Eden Gardens.
Kohli came to the wicket with India chasing 118 in 18 overs against an accomplished Pakistani attack on a turgid pitch. However, the right-hander rose to the occasion, using his skill and experience to take them over the winning line.
Kohli admitted he was especially pleased with the victory because of India's inability to chase down a similarly paltry target against New Zealand in their first game in the tournament. "I was really disappointed after that loss. I went back to the room and thought about what needs to be done," Kohli told the BCCI website.
"We were in a similar situation in this game. But such games and situations just improve you as a cricketer and I look forward to challenges like these."
India's much-hyped top order crumbled around Kohli in the run chase, but he retained his composure to secure victory for the tournament hosts. "I told myself in the change room that I am going to back myself to play good cricketing shots," Kohli shared.
"I was confident that I needed to play with a straight bat so that the strike keeps rotating. I remain pretty calm. Luckily my heart rate was low when we lost three wickets, it could have shot up as it was a big game and a full stadium at Eden Gardens. I am just grateful I was able to do it.
"It is very important to assess the field and understand how much the ball is turning and gripping from the surface. Accordingly you pick out bowlers, where they are trying to bowl at you and try to get into the head of the bowler and make him bowl where you want him to bowl. That is the key. That is where intent counts."