India can win three in a row against Sri Lanka: Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli became the first player to record five hundreds in 2012 AFP

Colombo: Aug 1, 2012

The series is in their grasp after two successive wins but in-form Indian batsman Virat Kohli said his team will remain focussed on getting a hat-trick of wins when it takes the field in the fifth and final One-Day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka at Pallekele on Saturday.

Kohli’s tremendous run against Sri Lanka continued on Tuesday where he notched up his 13th ODI century to help India successfully chase the 251 and take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

India won the last two games played here each time chasing a target in excess of 250.

“If we can win three in a row it will be wonderful for us. Our game is as consistent as it can be,” said Kohli.

On his excellent form Kohli said, “You put yourself under pressure when go up in the rankings. I personally think when you start scoring runs for your team and your country you have to take the game up one level.”

“Getting out for 105 or 106 after scoring a century doesn’t help the cause of your team.”

Kohli said the Indians were intent on not giving away too many wickets during the chase.

“This was what me and Suresh (Raina) discussed in the middle. When you are defending 250 you need to take wickets at regular intervals. Our plan was to stop that and try and create a partnership. We knew that the powerplay was due,” he said.

Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene, meanwhile, admitted that his side was simply not good enough.

“We did not play good enough cricket, we performed in patches, not really good performances. Our batting was not great, bowling not penetrative enough, fielding was below par,” he said.

Jayawardene, however, was convinced that Raina was caught behind by Dinesh Chandimal off Rangana Herath early in his innings.

The vociferous Sri Lankan appeal was turned down by local umpire Kumar Dharmasena.

“We got Suresh caught behind but I don’t know how others felt about it. That is how the game goes but it would have made a big difference (to the outcome),” he said.

The Sri Lankan captain said the difference in the series was that India were able “to come up trumps every time they were under pressure.”

The final match of the ODI series will be played in Kandy on Saturday. (PTI)