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Skipper Kohli praises Pandya, says he has lot of faith in the all-rounder

Virat Kohli Test IndiaGalle: After stupendous show by the Indians, including Shikhar Dhawan (190) and Cheteshwar Pujara (153), in the first innings, Virat Kohli’s century, followed by three-wicket hauls from R Ahswin and Ravindra Jadeja in the second innings helped India beat Sri Lanka by 304 runs in the first Test at Galle on Saturday.

In all praise for his bowlers, Indian skipper Virat Kohli said that they had to work hard to get all the wickets in the math. “The last time when we played here the surface offered much more to the bowlers. This time around the wicket was really good to bat on even till today. I mean if you applied yourself, you could easily score runs on that surface. So, yeah, we had to work hard for getting all the wickets that we did. I think the bowlers came up with different plans, persisted with them long enough to get those breakthroughs and that's something that always helps at the beginning of a series, to get a victory on a surface which is not offering much.”

Mentioning Hardik Pandya performance as an all-rounder, Kohli said, “In the first innings, he didn't get opportunity to bowl much but I think in the second innings, he bowled really nicely on a wicket that wasn't offering much and he kept it in the right areas.  He batted well in the first innings otherwise we would have been 540-550 in the first innings. He got 50 quickly and that saves you time as well. That gives you another 15 overs to bowl at the opposition. And his fielding is also tremendous. I have a lot of faith in him as far as any format is concerned.”

Talking about his own form, Kohli said that people on the outside start counting the number of innings when a batsman doesn't score well. “But for us as batsman or anyone playing in the XI, it's all about what the team wants at that particular situation. And you end up scoring runs as well plus you end up helping team also. I think the second innings required us to play more positively, and I am glad I was able to do that along with Abhinav Mukund to get us enough time to get the opposition out and enough runs on the board for us to feel comfortable. Yeah, I wasn't certainly looking at things like how many innings I haven't scored because when you are playing all formats, you don't think which format you have not scored runs in how many innings. You can't utilise so much energy in that,” said the skipper who scored a ton in the first Test.