India vs Australia: Virat Kohli explains his decision to use Vijay Shankar in the final over
On March 5, 2019, India made history. We became the second team in the world to record 500 wins in One Day Internationals. Only Australia, with 558 wins, is above the list. The second win against Australia in the ongoing ODI series came after the surprise decision to choose Vijay Shankar to bowl the last over. While Shankar is a capable bowler, he was being targeted by the Australian batsmen far too often. Yet when the time came, Shankar shone, picking up two wickets to clean up the Aussie tail.
Many questioned the decision to pick Vijay to bowl the final over. Some thought Kedar Jadhav would’ve been a better choice, while others mentioned that the team was looking at the bigger picture – that Kohli was monitoring Shankar’s mentality under pressure. But that debate can now be put to rest, as Kohli explained his choice on Chahal TV. Kohli reasoned that if a spinner’s delivery comes into the radar, it would be easier to step out and hit for a six.
"There was reverse swing on offer for a fast bowler. So, I was hoping that Vijay would be able to reverse swing a bit," Kohli explained. "If he [Vijay] bowls in the right areas, the batsman might go for a swing and miss, which happened on the first ball. And then it reversed a bit on the final ball, and we won. So we were hoping he could exploit the swing on offer,” said Kohli, adding that there were 11 runs left for Australia in the final over and only two wickets were left. “So I knew it could be easier for Vijay. Because then the batsman had to go for a big hit. And they just had two wickets left," he added.