Q. There have been plenty of times when India has out-batted the opposition and quite a few times recently when they have out-bowled them as well. But this is one of those rare occasions when pretty much the fielding has won the game for India, wouldn’t you say?
VIRAT KOHLI: Yeah, could you say that. I mean, but the pressure was built by the bowlers, and that I think resulted in, you know, those breakthroughs that we got in the field. It’s important to grab those opportunities, as well.

You know, thinking about how we wanted to improve our fielding, I think this was something that we required, this kind of a fielding performance. And before going out, we had a chat in the huddle that I want to see everyone’s intensity go up, and that a conscious effort we have to make individually in such a big game, you need to start well.

And then bowlers were on the money and that actually helps the fielders get into better positions and attack the batsmen when they know the bowler is hitting the right spot regularly.

Q. There was not much on the pitch there, but your bowlers still created something out of nothing, and also once you had them under the pump, like after the two run outs, you finished them off. Do you think that’s kind of becoming the feature of this team, like those two things, making things out of nothing and then finishing them off?
VIRAT KOHLI: I think two games, we have done that really well. One game we had an off-day, which we have discussed before already. But yeah, this is something that we’ve spoken, as well; that when you have teams down for five or six for not many, you need to understand how to finish games off and close games off.

Luckily we got their big strikers out early, and that really helps to close the innings off. Because in the end, if you get a 50, 60-run partnership, the opposition is still in the game and we didn’t want that to happen.

So yeah, I mean, the bowlers stuck to their lines and got us the breakthroughs when we required and that really helps when you chase that kind of a total down, you can take your time because the bowlers have done such a good job.

Q. Did you tell anything especially to Bumrah, because he had to open the attack with the new ball, which is not his regular job, recently. So what did you tell him?
VIRAT KOHLI: Yeah, I mean, I’m sure he was looking forward to it. He’s an attacking bowler, and all I said was, you know, express yourself, go for wickets. If you want to york people with the new ball, do it. If you want to bounce people, do it. This is your opportunity. The new ball does quite a bit, and you can get us a couple of breakthroughs.

His intention was to pick up wickets and that’s where we were able to create pressure from both ends. I mean, Bhuvi as you know, is always very consistent, but I think the way Bumrah bowled, as well, really tightened things from both ends. And then 30-odd runs in ten overs was an outstanding start for us, and then we could build on from there and get those important breakthroughs.

Q. The bowlers, nearly 24 maiden overs bowled by the Indian bowling unit. Do you think that in a high-pressure match as a captain, this is the best you’ve seen from your bowlers, like against quality world No. 1 side, 24 maiden overs?
VIRAT KOHLI: See, I don’t know the figures. I don’t know how many maiden overs or dot balls, but something that we spoke about, we executed that, and that always feels good as a team.

You know, I’m really delighted for all the bowlers to have executed their plans well in such a big game. To be able to bowl like that against a batting line-up of their capability is something that already we can feel that confidence and that energy in the change room because of a bowling performance like this, and we surely would like to take that forward into the semis.

Q. There was a competition going on between the fielders, the bowlers, even from the batters — their intensity we saw, the Indian team almost crushed South Africa. So the last match was it playing in the mind, that you have to compensate for that, also? And also a little bit on your conversation with Dhoni, I saw a lot of time you went there for field setting, chatting. How does that help you as a captain?
VIRAT KOHLI: His input is obviously always very precise, very helpful at any stage of the game. As I said, even the last game we discussed about the part-timers and he’s the one who mentioned it, and then I thought, yeah, why not. Let’s give bowlers a break. They probably might be feeling the pressure and the part-timers have nothing to lose, so that actually slowed the game down, also.

Today it was all about asking him whether to keep the slip in there long enough or what does he think of the fields and just taking assurance. Obviously you don’t want to feel isolated out there. Yes, you’re making decisions, but the inputs from such experienced players are priceless at any stage of the day.

Yeah, the intensity was really good today. Something, as I said, we have spoken about already. We wanted to improve on it, and we got it. I mean, even with the bat the way Shikhar batted was really great to see. Obviously I had to hold one end and I’ve always done that job for the team. But to have him play his natural game, play free cricket, get boundaries regularly, that really eases the situation out for the whole team.

So I’m glad he backed himself and played exactly the way he did in the last game. Yeah, it was — I can’t pinpoint any negatives from today honestly. It’s probably I would say our most complete game yet.

Q. Did you think that this big game, it would be a mismatch? And in the semifinals, out of the four teams, three teams are from the subcontinent. Do you think that the subcontinental teams, due to the proliferation of limited-overs cricket that we play have become better ODI teams?
VIRAT KOHLI: Your first question was what, mismatch?

Q. Mismatch with South Africa.
VIRAT KOHLI: In terms of what?

Q. That South Africa did not turn up today, given such a big match.
VIRAT KOHLI: Well, you know, in cricket you have days like this. I mean, I don’t want to say South Africa didn’t turn up. I think we played good cricket. Equally in the last game, we gave credit to Sri Lanka. I don’t want to take credit away from South Africa here. We played good cricket and that’s what happens. That’s why you play the sport. Someone has to win, someone has to loss.

Unfortunately it was their day to lose today and it was ours in the last game. That’s how I see the sport. You don’t want to feel too good about what you’ve done. You have to respect the game and this game that we play.

What was the second question? The subcontinent teams. I don’t know, maybe because of how much limited-overs cricket we play, I think the players are getting more experienced in difficult situations. And not to say that other teams are not playing well, but maybe some of the teams have really surprised the oppositions with the way they have batted and bowled in certain situations.

And credit to all the teams that have made the semis so far. They have played some very good cricket to get there and could be anyone; could be teams from the subcontinent and could be England is there, as well, and they are dominating. It’s all about who can play better cricket in a short and competitive tournament like this, and the results are in front of you.

Q. You’re absolutely right in that your team has completely dominated South African in all departments, batting, bowling, fielding and captaincy. But the South Africans have a history of mental frailty in big games. How much of a factor do you think that was today?
VIRAT KOHLI: I don’t know. To me, their batsmen looked pretty confident. If you get two run outs pretty quickly, then the mindset totally changes. As a captain, you have to understand where the game is heading after that. We only wanted to go for wickets because we understood now they are probably hesitating in going for their shots, and we’ve got in attacking fielders, and we asked the bowlers to make them play difficult shots.

So that paid off, we were able to close the game out, and it was really good for us. And as I said getting their big hitters early was a bonus.

I think initially before AB got run out, he did really well and Faf and AB were rotating it really well. I think his run out could be the turning point, and David Miller’s; he’s a very dangerous player, as well. They can drag the team up to 260, 270 from any sort of situations. Yeah, I think those two run outs were the turning point today.

Q. One character that defines this team, after you took charge – the ability to bounce back, especially after defeats. Is there any special message that you tell them post a defeat, because you come back with all guns blazing.
VIRAT KOHLI: You have to be honest. You have to sometimes say things that hurt. That’s what I believe in. You have to lay it out in front of them that this is what we did wrong, including me, and we need to take it on the chin and accept it and prove it. That’s why we are chosen among millions of people to play at this level. You have to be good enough to do that for the country and you have to be good enough to bounce back, as well. You can’t do the same mistakes over and over again.

So I think that sort of mindset is really helping all of us to come together as a unit and make things happen. It’s not about asking two, three players to do it. We are asking everyone to do it and everyone is responding really well. Until you have a team effort, you cannot win games, especially in conditions that you are not familiar with. Today was a team performance.

Q. How difficult was it to bounce back on the same ground where you had suffered a reverse just two days ago, and that, too, if you had lost, you would have been out of the tournament? How difficult is it as a leader to completely change the mindset of the team for this crunch match?
VIRAT KOHLI: As I said, you have to point out things that didn’t go well, but at the same time, you don’t want to be nagging them too much because they are professional cricketers, and I’ve played with a lot of these guys. You have to understand how to speak to them and how to communicate and discuss things with them. They are motivated enough to play at this level and perform. It’s just that those little things are something that needs a push every now and then and we embrace it as a team now. We want to put in that extra effort to make sure that in certain situations we apply pressure for long enough.

For that, we train harder and for that we practice harder, and those things pay off in crunch situations. If you’re not fit enough and you’re not practised enough, then you tend to lose your way for five overs and the game goes away from you. Those small things are something that we are focusing on.

Yeah, you know, for me, you look at every game as a game of cricket. But at times you understand the magnitude of what you are playing in, as well. As a captain, I would not say that I was totally calm or I had no issues at all. I mean, obviously you think of wanting to get the team across the line and I’m glad the boys turned up the way they did today.