Given quite a few anxious moments by minnows Afghanistan in their World T20 opener here,India’s in-form batsman Virat Kohli conceded that his side’s bowling at the death overs is a “worrying factor”.
“I believe we could have done better as a bowling unit and won by a bigger margin. We could have bowled in better areas. I think our bowling in the initial overs has been pretty good but it is the bowling at the death that needs to improve,” Kohli said after the scrappy 23-run win last night.
Asked whether he expected Afghanistan to put up the kind of fight they did,Kohli replied,”That’s exactly what happens when you play a lower-ranked opposition. They do not have the fear of failure. They are not concerned about the match situations and little things.
“Normally,in these situations,you find players expressing themselves well and doing the right things more often than not.”
Kohli said that against better oppositions like England,the team would suitably “gear up and execute the plans.”
“Normally,when you hit a bad patch in the T20s,it tends to get stretched for a few matches but you need that one match to make a comeback. And in this format,a good start means 40-45 runs unlike ODIs where you need 85-90 run starts. I believe our openers are experienced and soon they would get big scores.”
Kohli also didn’t seem to be in favour of tinkering with the batting line-up.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea. In T20s,you need a set batting line-up as far as the top three batsmen are concerned. The moment you start changing the combination and provided it doesn’t work,it can have a negative effect. When it comes to bowling combination,you can still make some changes but not in batting.”
About the Premadasa pitch,Kohli’s assessment was that it’s a bit on the “slower side.”
“I won’t say this is a great batting wicket but nevertheless a good wicket to bat on. It’s on the slower side and spinners will have more purchase. The pacers on this kind of track need to be very clever in their variations.”
On his own batting form which has been like stuff of dreams,Kohli tried to play it down.
“I have heard words like purple patch once earlier also when I was scoring runs. I am not thinking too much and that’s helped. For me,individual milestones are not important. The target is to score heavily so that I can help my team win more and more matches,” he concluded.