Virat Kohli to follow a template of batting first ahead of World T20
His decision may have failed, but India’s captain Virat Kohli made it clear that his team will not deviate from template of batting first rather than chase on flat pitches, going to next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
After loading the team with all the All-rounders, India batted as deep as nine, but it didn’t work on a flat deck of Chinnaswamy where the “Men in Blue” scored only 134 losses by nine wickets to a relatively inexperienced South African side.
“(This is) Exactly what we wanted to do and that will be the template we will follow for the games we have before the World Cup (by choosing to bat after winning the draw). The mindset has to be flexible and try things when situations are against us,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
For the Indian captain, Sunday’s defeat was exceptional when the execution was not top-notch. “We’ll have games like this, where we don’t run what we want. However, as long as the intention is there to improve, we’ll be in a good area. I think South Africa played well, the field did well in the first innings, and we couldn’t read the rhythm of the game well,” Kohli said.
Kohli said challenging players outside their comfort zone by hitting first is precise because T20 is a format, where chasing is more comfortable than hitting first.
“I would say only in T20 cricket (where chasing is easier). In one-day cricket, you have time for the players to come back, but here a 40-50 partnership can take the game away from you. A good association and you’re under the bomb even if you’re defending 200,” Kohli said.
The patron reiterated that he would like to prepare the central composition as quickly as possible. “The form of the team, we will try to get it right as soon as we can. The boys, who have done well in the domestic circuit, are getting opportunities, so it’s not like we’re playing random people.
“You must also understand that it is a very young team; you must give them time as a team to join. We bat until nine tonight, and that’s an area we’re looking to strengthen.”
Kohli’s opposite number, Quinton de Kock, said that keeping things “nice and simple” worked for them.
“We focus on reaching a good length. Our spinners also kept it tight. Beuran played very well and has the necessary skills. Sometimes it’s better in these wickets to slow down. We fixed one or two of our bugs in the last game. Our intensity in the field has also been excellent.”
The man of the game, Hendricks, said he had played better than this game, but that he is happy with the way things worked out for him.
“I’ve played better than this. He worked a lot behind the scenes, very happy with that. I don’t look at the field when we go out to warm up. The cloudy conditions meant there was a bit of a swing. Once I evaluated that, I didn’t have to change much,” he insisted.