Indian skipper Virat Kohli rued his side’s inability to build partnerships during the first innings and insisted that the hosts would have found it easier to score had more batsmen getting their eye in. Kohli also was unhappy with India’s body-language on the field and termed the same unacceptable.
Many believed that Ishan Kishan’s cameo in the 2nd T20I marked the dawn of a new era for India in T20Is, but that wasn’t to be as the Men in Blue slipped to an 8-wicket defeat to go 2-1 behind in the series. After being put in to bat, India, for the second time in the series, lost 3 wickets in the powerplay and the blows up-front ended up costing the side as they could only post a below-par total of 156 that was chased rather convincingly by the visitors.
Barring Kohli, who struck a whirlwind 77*, it was an underwhelming batting display by the hosts, and the Indian skipper, post the game, admitted that India dug a hole for themselves by not building big partnerships.
“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,” Kohli said in the post match presentation.
Kohli himself was in sublime form as he scored a second consecutive unbeaten fifty in the series, but the Indian skipper insisted that he does not gain satisfaction out of knocks that end up not helping the side win matches.
“If that helps the team, then sure. You don't want to play knocks which don't help the team in any way,” Kohli said of his knock.
There were plenty of takeaways from India’s innings, one of which was KL Rahul’s form. The opener posted his second duck of the series and has now been dismissed for either 0 or 1 in each of his last four T20I knocks. There has, hence, been questions about Rahul’s place in the side, particularly with Dhawan waiting on the sidelines and Kishan impressing, but Kohli quashed those suggestions and lent his full support to the Karnataka man. Kohli asserted with confidence that it will be a matter of time before the 28-year-old soars back to form.
“Well, I was going through a lean patch two games ago. He's [Rahul's] a champion player and he'l continue to be one of our main batters along with Rohit. T20 is an instinctive game and once a few shots come off,” Kohli said of Rahul.
For the third time this series, the match was won by the team that won the toss, with captains opting to field first on all three instances. Kohli admitted that the toss might be playing a bigger role than it ideally should, but asserted that England were flawless with the new ball on a wicket that provided assistance for the pacers up-front.
“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.”
Jos Buttler’s unbeaten 83 ensured that India were never in the hunt for a win, but the Men in Blue were guilty of being sloppy, dropping multiple catches. Kohli, disappointed with his side’s effort in the second innings, claimed that the level of intensity shown by his men was unacceptable.
“We lacked intensity in the second half,” he rued.