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"Surprised that Shardul Thakur wasn't the Man of the Match and Bhuvneshwar Kumar the Man of the Series" โ€“ Virat Kohli

Shardul Thakur and Virat Kohli (right)
Shardul Thakur and Virat Kohli (right)
ANALYST
Modified 29 Mar 2021
News

Virat Kohli has expressed his surprise that despite India clinching the series against England, the Man of the Match or the Man of the Series awards didn't go to players of his team.

The Indian captain felt that Shardul Thakur's all-round show could have won him the Man of the Match award, whereas Bhuvneshwar Kumar deserved the Man of the Series honour.

Virat Kohli had no hesitation in expressing his surprise over the choices for the two awards, saying in this regard:

"I am surprised Shardul Thakur wasn't the Man of the Match. Four wickets and scored 30 runs. And Bhuvi was another contender for the Man of the series. A lot of credit to them for bowling so well in adverse conditions. These guys were the difference in the middle overs and the Powerplay," said Virat Kohli in the post-match presentation ceremony.

Sam Curran bagged the Player of the Match for his unbeaten 83-ball 95 that kept England in the hunt, while Jonny Bairstow (219 runs) bagged the Man of the Series honour. Incidentally, Sam Curran's 95* is the highest score by any player batting at no. 8 in ODIs.

In a series dominated by batters, Jonny Bairstow won the Player of the Series award for top-scoring with 219 runs at an average of 73 and a strike-rate of 120.3.

However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar made a difference to India's fortunes with his tight bowling in the game. He picked up six wickets at 22.5 and went for 4.65 in a series that saw runs being scored at almost seven an over.

Meanwhile, Shardul Thakur bowled his ten overs for 67 runs and claimed four wickets. He also scored a crucial 21-ball 30 in the death overs.

Looking forward to IPL: Virat Kohli

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Virat Kohli praised his team's batting depth and said they were now looking forward to IPL 2021. However, he warned about the challenges of bubble life and believes the scheduling needs to be better.

The Indian captain further elaborated in this regard:

"The most pleasing thing is the depth of our batting. Despite the early wickets, we got a good score, and if the top three can get a hundred, then we can get 370s and 380s later. This win has been sweet because it has come against the top team in the world. We take a lot from this season. It has been an amazing season for us, and we wanted to finish on a high. We won every series."

Virat Kohli continued:

"We are looking forward to the IPL. I want to enjoy the IPL and back again with this group of guys. It is (a bit of a respite) for the support staff. Scheduling needs to be looked at in the future, since playing in bubbles will be difficult, and everyone can't have the same mental capacity all the time, but I'm looking forward to the IPL for now".
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After winning the Test series 3-1, Virat Kohli's men bested England, the No.1 T20I and ODI side, 3-2 and 2-1, respectively, in the two formats.

Meanwhile, the IPL returns to India for the 2021 edition and starts on April 9. Virat Kohli will be seen leading Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), a team still eying their maiden title in the competition.

Published 29 Mar 2021, 00:15 IST
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