Kedar’s spell made the difference, says skipper Kohli

Birmingham: India skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday said part-time off-spinner Kedar Jadhav’s spell was the key behind India being able to restrict Bangladesh to 264/7 and then cantering to a nine-wicket win in the ICC Champions Trophy semifinal here to set up a final clash against Pakistan. “We had another complete game. When we won the toss, I expected another clean performance. With the ball, we never let them away. The two quick wickets got us the momentum. He (Jadhav) has bowled in India as well. He is a smart guy. He knows where to pitch it. Had those guys carried on, we would have been chasing 300.

“Kedar’s spell was difference in the game for us. To restrict them to 260….they never got away from us. We never let them get past six runs an over,” Kohli said after the match. India rode on Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten 123 and Virat Kohli’s unconquered 96 to sail into the final. The defending champions were in full control of the game from the word go as in-form opener Shikhar Dhawan also smacked a quickfire 34-ball 46.

Earlier, Jadhav took the crucial wickets of Mushfiqur Rahim (61) and Tamim Iqbal (70) to break the 123-run third wicket stand and dash any hopes of a Bangladesh big score after being put in to bat first by India.

“The wicket was so good and there was no need to play dangerous shots. We are practicing smart and so we are doing well. You will see these kind of results because teams don’t want to give even one percentage away,” Kohli said on the team. “We deserve to be in the final. We have played some really good cricket,” he said.

Sharma added: “It was a great knock, especially when it comes on a winning note. It is always memorable when you score a hundred and win the game. In the last two games also I was trying to get a big one, unfortunately could not get through. After playing the initial few overs, it was all about you making mistake and getting out. I kept telling myself to bat as deep as possible.”

India will now take on Pakistan in a blockbuster final on Sunday to retain their Champions Trophy crown.

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