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Important to have belief, says Virat Kohli after thrilling win

India Today logo India Today 30-01-2017

India captain Virat Kohli hailed his team's "strong character" after the hosts clinched a thrilling 5-run win over England in the second Twenty20 International at Nagpur to draw level and take the three-match series to the decider in Bangalore.

India posted 144/8 after being sent into bat in the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium. England, seemingly in control, faltered at the end to be restricted to 139/6.

Kohli said it was important to have the belief and praised his bowlers for executing really well under pressure.

"It's important to have belief. It was a case of us executing really well initially. Bumrah and Nehra were outstanding in the end. To defend 40 in five overs with dew present is outstanding. Strong character shown by the side, something I am proud of," he said.

Young pacer Jasprit Bumrah bowled an inspired last over, conceding only two runs, to deny England a victory. He finished the match with figures of 20/2 in his four overs, giving away only three runs in the 18th over.

Veteran pacer Asish Nehra (3/28) also contributed to India's win.

Kohli revealed that he asked Bumrah to back his skills in the last over.

"Nehra is an experienced performer, he knows what to do. Bumrah was asking me what to do every ball. Just told him to back his skills. Even if it goes for a six, you still wake up tomorrow. It's not the end of the world.

Kohli also picked opener KL Rahul for special praise after he stood out with a 47-ball 71 which helped India to finish with a respectable total.

"It was an outstanding innings from Rahul on a pitch where shot-making was difficult. He's one player who has all the shots in the book. He nominates areas that he wants to hit in and hits proper shots," Kohli said.

The series will now head to Bangalore for the decider to be played on February 1 and Kohli remained confident of India's chances in his "second home".

"Bengaluru is like my second home, can't wait to go there. All to play for in the last game. We'll try to be more expressive. Some things we need to tighten up but all in all a very good performance," he signed off.

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