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Virat Kohli: India had trouble keeping motivation level high against Afghanistan

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Virat Kohli said that India had done well to beat Afghanistan in the dead rubber © Getty Images

Mirpur: Mar 5, 2014

India skipper Virat Kohli said it was difficult to keep the motivation level high coming into an inconsequential contest against Afghanistan and lamented crucial mistakes in the matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan that cost them heavily in the Asia Cup 2014.

“It was a complete performance. It was hard to motivate the team when you have been travelling and are out of contention for the final. Last night, we were hoping that Bangladesh wins but that did not happen. Being more relaxed worked for us, we were quite tense in the earlier games,” Kohli said after India trounced Afghanistan by eight wickets.

Asked about the reshuffle in the batting order on Wednesday as Ajinkya Rahane was asked to open the innings in place of Rohit Sharma, Kohli said the “idea was to give guys time in the middle.”

“Someone like Ajinkya who has scored on and off, it is good to give them some confidence, even Dinesh Karthik was sent up the order. We have to be patient with them and the results will follow,” he said confidently.

Assessing his team’s performance in the tournament, Kohli said it could have been different had they not missed chances in the crucial games.

“We started off beautifully. We committed crucial mistakes against Pakistan and Sri Lanka and we lost the close games. Amit Mishra coming and bowling well against Pakistan, that was good to see. I am happy the way the team showed their character,” he said, referring to several dropped and missed stumping chances.

Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi said it would be great for his side if International Cricket Council (ICC) assign more matches to them against some top teams.

“It was a great tournament for us. We have proved we are a good team in Asia after the Full Members. Win over Bangladesh is good sign for us. If there are more matches against Full Members, it is good experience for Afghanistan,” he appealed.

Talking about the match against India, he said,” Ashwin and Jadeja bowled brilliantly, we started well in first ten overs.”

He said that his countrymen and his teammates had big celebration after their win against Bangladesh.

Ravindra Jadeja, who took four wickets was the  Man of the Match said that coach Duncan Fletcher asked them to take the game seriously.

“Wicket was slow, I was trying to bowl slow, so that I could get some turn. You know that wicket is always going to be slow in Bangladesh. Before the game started, Duncan [Fletcher] told us this also counts an an ODI, so you guys be serious, we were focused on the game,” he said.

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