Kohli relishes unleashing off-spinning ‘twins’ on opposition

Fatullah (Bangladesh), June 14 (IANS) India’s Test skipper Virat Kohli lauded the intensity of his bowlers, led by off-spinning “twins” Harbhajan Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin, despite a rain-marred draw in the one-off Test against Bangladesh here on Sunday.

India and Bangladesh were forced to accept a draw after heavy downpour in the last five days ensured very little action at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium.

After India declared their first innings at 462/6, Bangladesh were bowled out for 256 and were forced to bat again on the fifth day. The hosts were 23/0 when both captains agreed to call it a draw on Sunday.

India’s off-spin twins Harbhajan (3/64) and Ashwin (5/87) claimed eight of Bangladesh’s 10 first-innings wickets to force them to follow-on.

“One very pleasing thing was the intent our bowlers showed throughout to take wickets,” Kohli said after the game.

“They were intense and aggressive irrespective of the situation of the game. There were no excuses and no cribbing out there. As the captain that really pleases me.

“Especially when we are fielding it is important to have that attitude and intensity because that is the only time when all 11 players are on the field. That’s when the real meaning of team is understood and felt,” he added.

Kohli said it was fascinating to watch India’s two leading tweakers work their magic in tandem.

“Watching them bowl together was very exciting for me and I think they enjoyed it as well. One was putting pressure, the other took wickets,” Kohli said.

“I would like to have players who can win us games and both of them certainly have that ability, especially with a long season in the subcontinent ahead of us. We need to build for that. The confidence they build in this season will help us in the future.”

Kohli also said the team will benefit from Shikhar Dhawan’s return to form. After a prlonged poor run, Dhawan hit an aggressive 173 in the Test.

“Shikhar, I’ve always felt that once he gets going in a Test he can do the job for us that Viru pa used to do. He is one player who can turn a session around for us completely and that could be the difference between us winning, drawing or ending up on the losing side.

“For him to score big runs in this game is a confidence booster for the team because now we have three openers who are in form (Dhawan, Murali Vijay and KL Rahul).

“We might have some selection nightmares but it is a good place to be in as a team. We really want him to play like this in Test matches regardless of where we play. It is going to benefit the team,” he opined.

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