Indian captain Virat Kohli endured a day to forget as not only he could not make an impact with the bat, but also his side succumbed to an eight-wicket defeat against England in the first T20I in Ahmedabad. Virat Kohli’s men managed only a modest total of 125 against a powerful English batting line-up and in the face of some excellent bowling performance. The Delhi-born batsman lamented their execution, which he believes needs to be better in the upcoming games.
After electing to bowl first, England made early inroads in India’s batting line-up, bereft of Rohit Sharma, who the Indian management rested. India’s top three in KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, and Shikhar Dhawan were back in the hut within six overs for a single-figure score. Rishabh Pant’s played some audacious strokes before perishing to Ben Stokes by chipping one on to the legside.
The 54-run stand between Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer alongside the latter’s 67 dragged the hosts to 125. England cut more than half of the total through their opening partnership of 72 between Jos Buttler and Jason Roy. Though Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed the openers, the tourists had the match in their grasp. Jonny Bairstow and the talisman Dawid Malan stayed till the end to propel England to a comprehensive win and a series lead.
Shreyas showed how to use the crease and ride the bounce: Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli revealed that they had little ideas on how to bat on the pitch and accepted that lack of execution contributed to their underwhelming performances; however, he promised to bounce back with more intent. The 32-year old lauded Shreyas Iyer for using the crease and riding the bounce well and their overall performance was weak. He praised Iyer’s knock of 67 but admitted they lost too many scalps to reach a competitive total.
About his form with the bat, Virat Kohli stated that sometimes the plan comes off and other times, it does not. The right-handed batsman also refused to cite the change of format from Test to T20Is as a factor in their poor performance. Virat highlighted that they won their last T20I series but admitted that they need to be on the top of their game against England.
“We just weren’t aware of what we had to do on that pitch, lack of execution on our shots and something we have to address. Accept your faults, come back with more intent, clarity of areas you want to hit. Wicket didn’t allow you to hit the shots we wanted to. Shreyas showed how to use the crease and ride the bounce. Below par batting performance and England made us play. We looked to try a few things, but having said that you have to accept the conditions. If the pitch allows you to, you can be aggressive from ball one. We didn’t spend enough time assessing, Shreyas did but we had lost too many wickets to get to 150-160.
Part of international cricket, you have ups and down. On your day, you will end up scoring much more, sometimes it doesn’t come off. Stay true to your plans but accept that the bowling team can come out and execute their plans. [Switcj from Tests?] That shouldn’t be a factor, take pride in playing good white-ball cricket, won our last few T20 series. These five games before the World Cup, we have to try and few things, but we can’t take anything lightly against England,” Virat Kohli told in the post-match presentation.