India skipper Virat Kohli, after suffering a loss in the first T20I against England at Kanpur, blamed batsmen for the loss as he said around 30-35 more runs could have made the game difficult for England.
“Well if you don’t put enough runs on the board, it is difficult. Thursday was a case where I think we were 30-35 runs short. 150 was below par score, to be honest on that sort of wicket. If we would have bowled better, we could have made a good fight for the total we had on the board but I think 170 or 175 would have been a more competitive total. I won’t say a match winning one because the ball was coming on nicely but still it could have been one which we could have tried a few things and put pressure on the opposition. But, with the start they had, it was pretty difficult to pull things back and that’s where you need a crucial 3-40 runs which we didn’t have.”
It should be noted that four crucial overs from Moeen Ali was the key to success for England. Their fast-bowlers took the pace of the ball and bowled few slower ones to restrict India to 147. Kohli praised England bowlers for the same and said:
“Their fast bowlers bowled well on that wicket. They hit a good length. The hard length ball was not easy to connect, you really had to stand upright and take the risk to hit length balls, so that was the basic idea. I mean if you are playing with two quick, you gonna use them after six overs. You expect them to come out aggressively and pick few wickets. You expect the new ball to swing and that why they play on the side. So, on this sort of wicket, I wouldn’t’ change the plans. Their fast bowlers took the pace off. Their spinners came after six overs as well so. I don’t think this is a sort of wicket where you have enough grass to do something with the new ball. So you can’t start with spinners, more bare wicket could have been a good option. “
India and England now meet in the second T20I in Nagpur on January 29. Visiting party England will look to make it 2-0 whereas it’ll be a tough job for the hosts to remain alive in the series.