Virat Kohli: We showed a lot of intent, but kept losing wickets

Updated: Sep 24, 2019, 08:23 IST | Satish Viswanathan | Bangalore

Many, many years back on this same ground, Karnataka, who were hosting a Ranji game, had two wicketkeepers in their side

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

Bangalore: There were two goof ups by the Indian team at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Sunday night.

One didn't cost them much but revealed a change in thinking, while the other proved decisive. And no, we are not talking of the decision to bat first on a ground known for big chases.

Many, many years back on this same ground, Karnataka, who were hosting a Ranji game, had two wicketkeepers in their side. Having completed their batting, the rest of the team as also the spectators were shocked to see both wicketkeepers, both India players mind you, walk out with their wicketkeeping pads on. The captain was forced to step in and sort the issue out.

Something similar happened on Sunday when at the fall of Shikar Dhawan's wicket, both Shreyas Iyer and Rishab Pant walked out to bat, one from the dugout and the other from near the dressing room.

Skipper Virat Kohli put it down to a possible miscommunication but admitted that he too was taken aback initially. "I think there was a miscommunication there," he said at the post-match conference. "[At least] that's what I understood afterwards. The batting coach [Vikram Rathour] had a word with both of them [to be ready to go at No. 4] and there was a misunderstanding of who has to go at what stage," said Kohli. The actual plan was to have Iyer at four if the first two wickets fell inside the 10th over, and Pant in if it happened after 10 overs. Dhawan fell in the 8th over.

Eventually, it was Pant at No. 4 but not that it made a difference, and that's the second goof up. The pitch was good to bat on while the ball was new but it had started to slow down thereafter, which means the batsmen had to rethink their plans of a big, 200-odd sort of total and settle for say 160-170. However, no one made the adjustments needed and thus followed a disastrous total, which the South Africans passed with ease to draw the series 1-1.

"It was a combination of good bowling and not great decision-making," said Kohli of the collective batting failure. "We showed a lot of intent but the pitch didn't allow us to get to the total [that we had in mind] and we kept losing wickets. After the start we got, we could have reassessed and set our target to 170 instead of 200," said Kohli.

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