India were beaten convincingly in the 3rd T20I in Bengaluru after skipper Virat Kohli’s decision to bat first backfired. However, even in defeat Kohli insisited that his team won’t deviate from the template of opting to bat first going into next year’s World T20 in Australia.
India batted deep till number nine but it didn’t work on a flat Chinnaswamy deck where the ‘Men in Blue’ scored only 134 losing by 9 wickets to a relatively inexperienced South African side.
“(This is) exactly what we wanted to do and that’s going to be the template we’ll follow for games we have before the World Cup (on opting to bat after winning the toss). The mindset has to be flexible and to try out things when situations are stacked against us,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“We will have games like this, where we don’t execute what we want. But as long as the intent is there to improve, we’ll be in a good zone. I think South Africa bowled well, the pitch suited them in the first innings and we weren’t able to read the tempo of the game well,” Kohli added.
The Indian captain also said that the intent is to get the players out of their comfort zone because T20 is one format, where chasing is easier than batting first.
“I would say only in T20 cricket (where chasing is easier). In one-day cricket, you have time for the bowlers to comeback, but here a partnership of 40-50 can take the game away from you. One good partnership and you are under the pump even if you are defending 200,” said Kohli.
Looking at the composition of the side, the skipper said, “The squad composition, we will try to get right as soon as we can. The guys, who have done well in the domestic circuit are getting opportunities, so it’s not like we are playing random people.”
“You have to understand as well that it’s a very young side, you have to give them time as a team to come together. We batted till 9 tonight, and that’s one area we’re looking to strengthen.”
Kohli’s opposite number Quinton de Kock, on his part said keeping things “nice and simple” worked for them.
“We focused on hitting a good length. Our spinners kept it tight too. Beuran bowled really well and he has got the skills. Sometimes it’s better on these wickets to take the pace off. We fixed one or two things from our mistakes in the last game. Our intensity in the field has also been really good.”
Man of the match Hendricks said that he had bowled better than this game but is happy about how things worked for him.
“I have bowled better than this. Lots of hard work put in behind the scenes, so happy with that. I don’t really look at the pitch when we come out to warm-up. The overcast conditions meant some swing was there. Once I assessed that, I didn’t need to change much,” he insisted.
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