Hyderabad: Indian captain Virat Kohli bettered his personal best in the shortest format of the game to lead his team to a memorable six-wicket win over the West Indies in the first T20I of the series.
After the visitors posted an imposing 207/5, Kohli’s unbeaten 94 off 50 balls (4x6, 6x6) helped India get to 209 with eight balls and six wickets to spare.
After hitting Kesrick Williams for a six in the 16th over, Kohli used his bat as an imaginary notebook to “tick” the bowler’s name off.
When asked about Kohli’s gesture, Windies skipper Keiron Pollard said: “He is an animated character, a great batsman and he continues to show the world that he is a world class batsman. His theatrics or whatever, it comes as part and parcel of the game. Sometimes you have to be like that to pump yourself to score runs and so I am fine with it.”
While Pollard praised his batters for putting up a good show, he seemed unhappy with his bowlers for failing to defend the 200-plus score.
“I think we batted pretty well. We scored above 200 runs which more often than not you take that. But discipline in bowling and execution let us down tonight,” Pollard said at the post-match press conference on Friday night.
“We gave 23 extras, 14 or 15 of those wide deliveries, so when you look at that, those were extra balls and extra overs. When you give a class team like India these many extra deliveries, you are destined for trouble. No balls are something we stress on in terms of non-negotiable and we bowled a couple of them tonight. It’s something we need to look on,” he added.
Both the sides will now face-off in the second T20I at the Greenfield Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.
The Indian skipper would be impressed with the way his players performed with the bat. However, the hosts were sloppy in the other two departments and they would desperately hope that they come out with improved performances in bowling and fielding in Thiruvananthapuram.
The hosts dropped many catches and were found wanting on the field — something which they would want to improve in the second T20I. On the other hand, the visitors — as Kieron Pollard said after their defeat in Hyderabad — need to improve their bowling.
“208 to defend, on any day you’d take that 10 out of 10 times. Where we lost the game was the extras and our bowling. Our execution was poor. If we had executed the plans we had spoken about, it would have been a different scenario despite the good batting wicket,” said Pollard and that’s exactly what the visitors need to do to make a comeback in the series.