India skipper Virat Kohli said the team wanted to get out of their comfort zone and that’s why he chose to bat first in a bid to get a big score in the third and final T20I, which the Men in Blue lost to South Africa by nine wickets.
On Sunday evening, India surprisingly chose to bat at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, a ground which is known for big chases.
After a brisk start, the hosts’ inning went haywire as they kept losing wickets at regular interval and were able to manage only 134/9 in their stipulated 20 overs. In reply, the Proteas, led by their skipper Quinton de Kock, reached the target with utmost ease, losing only one wicket in 16.5 overs and drew the series 1-1.
“Yes we wanted to go for a big score, exactly why we batted first. In the past we’ve felt we’ve been 20-30 runs short batting first in T20I cricket which has cost us the game. The idea was to come out of our comfort zone, and try to get that big score because we’re batting till No. 9. But we quickly realised the pitch didn’t allow us to do that,” Kohli said while speaking at the post-match press conference.
“The start we got, I think we could have reassessed to 170 instead of thinking of 200. The pitch didn’t allow us to get to that total. We kept losing wickets, not taking anything away from South Africa. They bowled the right areas, it was a combination of good bowling, not great decision making.
“But these kinds of games will keep happening, as long as we’re wanting to come out of our comfort zones as a team and putting ourselves in situations which could be the case in big games in big tournaments, that’s the idea behind it,” he added.
The Indian batting mainstay also added that the team will keep taking risks in the shortest format of the game while preparing for next year’s World T20.
“We will have to take risks in T20. If you want to win a game of cricket you have to take risks. Nothing is a given before you start playing. I think as a team if we are willing to get out of our comfort zone a lot more then we will be unphased with what happens at the toss.,” he said.
“That’s our basic idea. Try and take the toss out of the equation that’s why we are looking to play the best combination possible and have people batting till so far down the order till 9, so that batting first or bowling first we are in a good position,” he added.
Kohli also revealed there was a miscommunication between Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant on who will walk in at No. 4 during the course of first innings when Shikhar Dhawan got out in the eighth over/
Both Iyer and Pant walked out from the dressing room after Dhawan’s dismissal, before Pant eventually came in.
Kohli said India had planned on their No. 4 batsman depending on the number of overs left, which resulted in a bit of confusion.
“I think there was a miscommunication there. That’s what I understood afterwards,” Kohli said.
“The batting coach had had a word with both of them and there was a misunderstanding of who has to go at what stage. It was a little funny as well afterwards, they both wanted to walk in. It would have been very funny if both reached the pitch, three batsmen in the field! I think it was a miscommunication at that stage.
“We had planned according to phases. After 10 overs, we decided Rishabh would come in. Before that Shreyas had to walk in. I think both got confused and didn’t realise who has to walk in at which stage. That was a miscommunication there,” he added.
Pant scored 19 off 21 whereas Iyer made 5 off 8. Both of them became the victim of left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin.
The two teams will now face each other in the three-match Test series beginning October 2 in Visakhapatnam.