India Vs Windies 2019/20: Second ODI – Virat Kohli Pleased To See India’s Strong First Batting
After winning the crucial Visakhapatnam ODI against Windies on last Wednesday (18th December) night, Indian captain Virat Kohli is happy for the team’s strong reaction during first batting after losing the toss.
While India suffered a thrashing defeat in the first ODI of the three-match home ODI series against Windies at Chennai, the hosts can’t afford another defeat in this series. While the dew factor is a big issue, Windies captain once again won the toss and decided to bowl first in the Visakhapatnam.
However, this time the Indian batsman showed their strong skills and dominantly took up the first innings scoreboard to 387/5 (50 overs). While India have batted first in the last three limited-overs international matches, Virat Kohli has been impressed with the responses from the batting line-up.
After winning the Visakhapatnam ODI by 107 runs, Kohli said at the presentation ceremony, “I think what has been good in the last three games including the one at Wankhede and first two ODIs, we have batted pretty well in the first half. Batting second has never been an issue. We’re one of the top sides, if not the best, while chasing. It is always good to see the team getting 40-50 extra than what you would’ve thought at the start of the game.”
Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul smashed centuries and built up the strong partnership of 227 runs. While Rahul scored 102 off 104 balls (8 fours and 3 sixes), Rohit played the knock of 159 runs off 138 balls (17 fours and 5 sixes).
The Indian captain Virat Kohli scored a golden duck, but Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant handled the middle-order batting proficiently. The wicketkeeper-batsman Pant scored 39 runs off 16 balls (3 fours and 4 sixes), and Iyer hit his fourth successive ODI half-century (53 runs off 32 balls; 3 fours and 4 sixes). Iyer-Pant partnership managed to score 24 runs in the 46th over while created an Indian ODI record by scoring 31 runs in 47th over. While Kohli praised every batsman, he credited the openers for setting up a giant target.
Indian captain added, “Rohit and KL were outstanding, the opening partnership set it up. Shreyas and Rishabh, the way they played and scored 55 runs in that two overs. It was fantastic hitting. Credit has to go to openers.”
It shows we’re not reliant on the toss – Indian captain Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli claimed that this kind of performance gave them huge confidence. While he doesn’t want to depend on the toss luck, he wants the Indian batsmen to showcase the dominant batting performances in the batting first.
Kohli clarified, “Look, the more we get confident while batting first in T20 cricket, we can really go out there and express ourselves. It’s been very nice to see the way we batted first especially after losing the toss. It shows we’re not reliant on the toss. We want to bat the opposition out of the game if we bat first.”
For a long time, the Indian team management is searching the proper batsman for the no.4 batting position in limited-overs cricket. They suffered it also in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. But, the 25-year-old Shreyas Iyer has recently impressed with his bat which is giving confidence to the team management to test him regularly for the no.4 batting position in limited-overs cricket. Virat Kohli is very happy to see Iyer’s consistent performances.
Kohli said, “It was made more out of an issue that it actually was (the number 4 conundrum during World Cup). If the number 4 doesn’t get to bat consistently, then it doesn’t help. He’s (Shreyas Iyer) grabbed his chances and performed well. It’s a very tricky situation to come in and we are just happy that a youngster has come in and is playing freely.”
After playing nine ODI innings (11 ODI matches), Shreyas Iyer has scored 469 runs (average 52.11), including six half-centuries. Moreover, he has scored four consecutive half-centuries in the last four ODIs.
Catching has been disappointing
But Virat Kohli is disappointed with their mistakes for choosing reviews and catch drops. While he believes that they are one of the top fielding sides, he feels that they need to improve it hugely.
Kohli said, “Reviews are always left upon the keeper and the bowler. Both of them were convinced but the replays suggested otherwise. Wasn’t really pleased with how we took the review. Catching has been disappointing. It is not the representation of the kind of standards that we set. It’s very important to maintain standards and live upto it. We are one of the best fielding sides in the world. Fielding is all about wanting the ball. As long as we are enjoying that, we will be right up there.”
While the series is currently 1-1, the third and final ODI of this series is going to be the series-decider. Cuttack will host the third ODI on this Sunday (22nd December).
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