Virat Kohli acknowledged that India’s below-par showing with the bat made matters easier for England in the first T20I at the Motera stadium on Friday.
“We just weren’t aware of what we had to do on that pitch. It was a case of lack of execution in terms of our shot making and it’s something we have to address.
“It was below-par batting performance from us and England made us pay,” the India captain said at the post-match presentation.
“We’ve to accept our faults, come back with more intent and clarity of areas where you want to hit. Also, the wicket didn’t allow us to hit the shots we wanted to.”
Barring Shreyas Iyer and to an extent Rishabh Pant, hardly any of the other Indian batsmen — including the skipper himself — could get going on that two-paced wicket. “Shreyas showed how to use the crease and ride the bounce.
“We looked to try a few things, but having said that, you have to accept the conditions. If the pitch allows, you can be aggressive from ball one. But we didn’t spend enough time assessing.
“Shreyas did that, but we had lost too many wickets to get to 150-160,” Kohli said
The captain, though, refused to buy the idea that switching from Tests to T20Is turned out to be a factor for his side. “That shouldn’t be a factor. We take pride in playing good white-ball cricket and we also won our last few T20I series,” he stated.
The man who did the real damage to the home team, both at the start and towards the end of their innings, was Jofra Archer (three for 23 off his four overs).
“When the competition is tough, you have to step up. And it brings out the best in me,” Archer, adjudged Man of the Match, emphasised.
Barring in the fourth over of the Indian innings when Pant reverse-scooped him over the wicketkeeper’s head for a six and then whipped him off the very next ball to the square-leg boundary, Archer gave very little away. And among his wickets were the vital scalps of KL Rahul at the start and Hardik Pandya in the death overs.
“I would rather go for dot balls while bowling in the Powerplay, and wickets are a bonus,” the pacer said. “But yeah, if I can put pressure on the batsmen, it usually helps the other bowlers as well.”
Praising Archer, Eoin Morgan highlighted the competition in England’s bowling unit. “Jof is excellent, but there’s a lot of competition as well in the bowling unit.“We do have guys on the sidelines who could’ve played. We’re trying to cover all departments,” the England captain said.