Indian captain Virat Kohli produced a batting masterclass today and lifted his team to a competitive total in Ahmedabad; however, the hosts went down by eight wickets to England. Virat Kohli smashed an unbeaten 77 off 46 balls to get India to 156 from two troublesome stages of 87-5 in the 15th over and succumbing to 24-3 earlier. The 32-year old was all praises for England, who produced the perfect performance to beat the hosts.
England’s pace attack rocked India early as KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma could not handle Mark Wood’s swiftness. Ishan Kishan was the third casualty as he perished to Chris Jordan’s bouncer. Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant got going for a while before the latter got involved in a mix-up while going for a third run off the misfield. It was after Shreyas Iyer’s wicket that the hosts raised the tempo. Kohli and Pandya got 56 off the last four overs and 69 off the final five as India got 156.
Jos Buttler and Jason Roy started the run-chase steadily before the former cut loose and the latter miscued a reverse sweep to point. Buttler marshalled his innings in a calculated way and shared a 58-run partnership with Dawid Malan. Malan could not make an impact once again as a delivery from Washington Sundar defeated him and Rishabh Pant affected a stumping. Malan’s departure brought Jonny Bairstow to the crease and both of them took England home with an unbeaten 77-run stand.
The case was to get set and get us to a decent total: Virat Kohli
When asked Virat Kohli whether he was happy with his explosive knock, he responded if it helps the team, then for sure. Virat Kohli credited England for maintaining extra pace, hitting excellent areas with the ball and pointed out that the pitch was not comfortable to bat on. The Indian captain addressed KL Rahul’s horror form, remarking that he will bounce back as the right-handed batsman is a champion player. The 32-year old lamented the toss factor; however, praised England’s bowlers for delivering the goods. He also bemoaned the hosts’ lack of intensity in the second half.
“If my innings helps the team, then for sure (happy with your innings?) You don’t want to play knocks that don’t help the team. The pitch was tacky, but they [England] had extra pace and hit good areas. The key was partnerships and we had one little partnership. Even Hardik [Pandya] in the first half, it was not easy to hit through the line. The case was to get set and get us to a decent total. Well, I was going through a lean patch two games ago. He’s [Rahul’s] a champion player and he’ll continue to be one of our main batters along with Rohit.
T20 is an instinctive game and once a few shots come off… It is [toss is a factor], but if you lose the toss, embrace what has been asked from you. The England bowlers attacked right lines and lengths and with their pace they became more potent. We lacked intensity in the second half. We want to give Hardik a bit more responsibility with the ball; we know what he can do with the bat,” Kohli told in the post-match presentation.