India vs South Africa | Miscommunication Between Iyer & Pant on No. 4 Position: Kohli
Virat Kohli revealed that there was a miscommunication between Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant on who will walk in at No. 4 in the third T20I against South Africa in Bangalore. Both Iyer and Pant walked out from the dressing room when Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed in the eighth over, before Pant eventually came in. Kohli said India had planned on their No. 4 batsman depending on the number of overs left, which resulted in a bit of confusion.
"I think there was a miscommunication there. That's what I understood afterwards," Kohli said in the post-match presentation. "The batting coach had had a word with both of them and there was a misunderstanding of who has to go at what stage. It was a little funny as well afterwards, they both wanted to walk in. It would have been very funny if both reached the pitch, three batsmen in the field! I think it was a miscommunication at that stage.
"We had planned according to phases. After 10 overs, we decided Rishabh would come in. Before that Shreyas had to walk in. I think both got confused and didn't realise who has to walk in at which stage. That was a miscommunication there."
India opted to bat first, which was a surprise on a ground like M Chinnaswamy which is known for big chases. Kohli said the idea was to come out of their comfort zones in the lead up to the T20 World Cup next year.
"Yes we wanted to go for a big score, exactly why we batted first. In the past we've felt we've been 20-30 runs short batting first in T20I cricket which has cost us the game. The idea was to come out of our comfort zone, and try to get that big score because we're batting till No. 9. But we quickly realised the pitch didn't allow us to do that," he said.
"The start we got, I think we could have reassessed to 170 instead of thinking of 200. The pitch didn't allow us to get to that total. We kept losing wickets, not taking anything away from South Africa. They bowled the right areas, it was a combination of good bowling, not great decision making. But these kind of games will keep happening, as long as we're wanting to come out of our comfort zones as a team and putting ourselves in situations which could be the case in big games in big tournaments, that's the idea behind it.
"We will have to take risks in T20. If you want to win a game of cricket you have to take risks. Nothing is a given before you start playing. I think as a team if we are willing to get out of our comfort zone a lot more then we will be unphased with what happens at the toss. That’s our basic idea. Try and take the toss out of the equation that’s why we are looking to play the best combination possible and have people batting till so far down the order till 9, so that batting first or bowling first we are in a good position.
"But I think mentally if we put ourselves in a position where we say we can do anything rather than wanting to do one thing, we’ll be in a better position as a side to capitalise on any situation as a team. Unless you do that and take those kind of risks you will always be under pressure as a team. We want to make sure we iron all of that out before going to the World Cup."
Kohli said the bowlers' performance should not be analysed much as India did not put enough runs on board.
"I think they've done well. Honestly we didn't have enough runs on the board. The bowlers are always under pressure knowing one or two overs can take the game away. They've done decently well, we have to be bit more patient with the combination. Obviously we have to strengthen one or two things. As a batting unit I can tell you that people batting till 9 gives you a lot of confidence, and guys who have the ability to bowl as well. We're taking the best balance we can at the moment. When the big guns come, Bhuvi and Bumrah will be available, it will be interesting to see who along with them makes the composition of the team," he said.
"Washington Sundar bowled well and Deepak was good with the new ball too. Bowlers coming out of their comfort zone means defending 160 with dew, you can’t defend 130 with dew. I think we did not get it right with the bat and you can’t be harsh on the bowlers in a T20 game with that kind of a total.
I think around 170 would have put the game in balance and with a wet ball in hand that is more of a challenge. Not defending 130. I don’t think the bowlers should be analysed or criticized about not defending this total."
Kohli also looked ahead to the three-Test series, saying they know 'what to do' especially playing in India.
"Our Test team is as strong as it gets in world cricket and especially in our conditions we are, if not the best, one of the best teams. We know what we have to do," he said.
"Playing in India with the bowling attack we have will always be challenging but you’ll have to respect all the oppositions and play solid cricket in all the sessions.
We are always excited to play Test cricket, and especially with the home season which everyone is looking forward to."