Virat Kohli said India have the self-belief to win from any situation after they chased down a daunting 351 target against England in his first match since taking over the one-day side captaincy full-time.
India appeared to be heading for a heavy defeat in Pune on Sunday night after being reduced to 63 for four before Kohli and the unheralded Kedar Jadhav struck blistering centuries in a 200-run fifth-wicket partnership.
The pair’s dismissals in quick succession put the outcome into doubt again but before all-rounder Hardik Pandya held his nerve and smacked an unbeaten 40 to take India home with 11 balls to spare.
“Even in the Test series we believed that we could come back from any situation and win the game,” Kohli, who led India to a 4-0 Test demolition of England last month, told reporters after the match.
“This was another case of the same thing. All 11 guys buying into the idea and believing that we can win from any situation,” said Kohli.
The Eoin Morgan-led England team hit India hard with early strikes as the veteran Yuvraj Singh and Kohli’s predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni both fell cheaply.
But Kohli and local boy Jadhav, who recorded his second ODI century in just his 13th game, enabled India to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. The next match is in Cuttack on Thursday.
“The sooner you learn [from a particular situation], I think the team benefits from it and you become a stronger unit,” said Kohli who is widely recognised as the best chaser in the game.
Calling Jadhav’s knock as “outstanding”, Kohli praised his team-mate for crafting his innings to perfection in front of a raucous home crowd, saying that some of his shots were barely believable.
England posted their highest ODI score against India after being put into bat and then had the hosts in early trouble and Kohli said the best way to some out of the situation had been to “counter-attack”.
Kohli, who is now captain across all three international formats, has said he wants to use the England series as a chance to prepare for the next World Cup in 2019.
But he is also determined to defend India’s title in the Champions Trophy which is being held in England in June.
“We were under pressure but the way we came out I think it just builds our confidence going into the next game,” said Kohli.