Virat Kohli: Cruel format for bowlers
Virat Kohli puts things in perspective after England beat India in Friday's second T20I at Cardiff
The extra bounce and early juice in the Sophia Gardens pitch and the short straight boundaries, especially at the River End. These were the conditions that were going to help the home team and once they won the toss, the balance tipped in their favour. It was to the credit of the Indians that they carried the fight till the final over despite mustering only 148 in Friday's second T20 international here.
Skipper Virat Kohli accepted that the home team made better use of the conditions. "England made good use of the wicket which had some extra bounce and some assistance for the seamers. They put pressure on us and made us lose wickets. The run out didn't help either. When you lose three wickets in the first six overs for 30 runs, it's difficult to come back. I thought a partnership would get us to 145 and that would have been competitive.
"However, I believe, we were probably about 15 runs short. We were pushed back initially in the first six overs. Our powerplay was not good enough, and the score in the end reflects that and we just couldn't push as much as we wanted in the end," Kohli said.
"We knew it would be something (the target of 149) they would have to work hard to win. They played Kuldeep (Yadav) really well. Yuzvendra Chahal was outstanding and they switched roles in both games. They did their homework on Kuldeep and they reaped the rewards. "It's a cruel format for the bowlers. Umesh (Yadav) was fantastic and so was Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar), but unfortunately he couldn't finish it off (in the final over). That boundary in the end (19th over) from Hales pulled things back for them and these small things count in T20s which make it so interesting to watch. We've got to brush it aside, take it in our stride and move on to the next game (the decider in Bristol on Sunday)."
Chahal said that the bowlers, despite the drawbacks, did well and fought till the end. "We were defending (a score of) under 150 and it is to the credit of the bowlers that England earned a hard-fought win. Obviously, they played Kuldeep very well in this match, but he is a class bowler and I am sure will come back stronger in the decider," the spinner said.
England captain Eoin Morgan was surprised by the bounce. "And with long square boundaries we were able to put the pressure on the Indian batsmen," he said.
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