Sport

Kohli: SA win probably our best game so far

I love doing it.

"We've covered all the bases". There's no doubt about that. "We've had camp after camp".

"The small things are something we are focusing on".

South Africa 191 all out, 44.3 overs [De Kock 53, du Plessis 36, Bhuvneshwar 2-23, Bumrah 2-28] lost to India 193-2, 38 overs [Dhawan 78, Kohli 76*, Tahir 1-37, Morkel 1-38] by eight wickets. "Since the team have started against England in May, it hasn't looked right to me as an observer", he added. We were completely outplayed today.

"I did not expect South Africa, the world's top-ranked ODI side team, to choke yet again".

"It wasn't a mental thing".

After Sri Lanka chased down 322 in India's last outing, Kohli highlighted the improvement in his bowling attack to restrict South Africa to a below-par score. "Tournaments are a little bit different".

You could nearly feel it - when AB De Villiers called wrong and lost the toss, with India putting South Africa into bat - the panic setting in. "We grabbed the chances that came our way".

With his great mate and equally unsafe Faf Du Plessis at the other end, the stage was set perfectly for a big partnership from the two and for the duo to bat India out of the game. Nothing to do with the energy or the intensity or the belief in the team. It was still part of our pool games, so that's the one area that's a bit different, but it was still a must-win game.

"When India were batting they took the pressure, created momentum and then just ran with it". They jacked up the run rate in subsequent overs as the Indian bowlers struggled to get going.

"Maybe because of how much limited-overs cricket we play, I think the players are getting more experienced in hard situations", he said.

His fourth Champions Trophy didn't work out, but that hasn't stopped him looking forward to what he hopes will be his fourth Cricket World Cup in 2019, back in England. "I am not thinking about the next one now".

On a day when it mattered the most, India brought their game to the fore while AB de Villiers' men wilted under pressure, as it has been with them in high-stakes games.

When pressed about his future as South Africa's captain, de Villiers said: "That's a question that can only be answered by people who are in control of making radical decisions". "That's not my decision". I'm delighted for all the bowlers to have executed their plans well. I don't think it feels far away. "That's what I believe in", Kohli said in the post-match conference. I believe we're the very closest unit.



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