Thu, 20 Jun 2019

Perth [Australia], Dec 15 (ANI): Indian pacer Ishant Sharma on Saturday said that "whenever Virat (Kohli) is batting, the team feels pretty confident."

"We felt good obviously as we finished the day on a strong position. Hopefully, they both (Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane) will continue tomorrow and we win the first session and turn the game in our favour," he added.

As the onus to hold India's fort shifted on the shoulders of Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara following an early blow, the duo displayed composure to rescue their side. The Indian skipper started his innings on a positive note but later slowed down, while Pujara patiently batted with a bit of luck. With masterly Kohli as an anchor, India's middle order pulled the team out of trouble into a position of strength.

Talking about Pujara's innings, Ishant said: "When Pujara defends, the ball doesn't go past the square. I have played against him and I know how difficult it is to bowl at him. He makes the bowlers tired. I knew if he stays he can do wonders. It was unfortunate the way he got out. We don't get those wickets that easily, going down leg and caught behind."

"Then, Jinx (Rahane) and Virat played pretty good shots which shifted momentum in our side and we ended the day pretty well. I think Rahane's counter-attacking innings in that period was very important for the team. It also made Australia change their bowling plans," he added.

When asked about the improvement in Jasprit Bumrah's bowling in the longest format, Ishant said: "I don't think he is improving because when he was selected he already had improved, that is why he is in the team. He is a great fast bowler. He always comes and gives his heart out. He never gives up, which is the best sign for any fast bowler. I think that is the plus point for having Bumrah in the team."

Kohli and Rahane remained unbeaten on 82 and 51 respectively and the visitors posted 172/3 at stumps. India will resume the third day trailing by 154 runs. (ANI)

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