India Vs South Africa, 3rd T20: We Are Not Playing Random People And Need Time – Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli's decision to bat first backfired as the Indian cricket team crashed to a defeat against South Africa, who levelled the series with a nine-wicket victory in the third T20I at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. The Men in Blue skipper defended his players, stating that they have been good in the domestic circuit which is the reason for their selection, and its not just random. He also feels that his side needs time to perform better.
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"The squad composition, we will try to get right as soon as we can. The guys, who have done well in the domestic circuit are getting opportunities, so it's not like we are playing random people," said Kohli.
"You have to understand as well that it's a very young side, you have to give them time as a team to come together. We batted till 9 tonight, and that's one area we're looking to strengthen."
His decision may have backfired but Kohli made it clear that his team won't deviate from the template of opting to bat first rather than chase on flat decks, going into next year's World T20 in Australia.
Having loaded the team with all-rounders, India bat as deep as nine but it didn't work on a flat Chinnaswamy deck where the 'Men in Blue' scored only 134 losing by 9 wickets to a relatively inexperienced South African side.
"(This is) exactly what we wanted to do and that's going to be the template we'll follow for games we have before the World Cup (on opting to bat after winning the toss). The mindset has to be flexible and to try out things when situations are stacked against us," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
For the Indian captain, Sunday's loss was one-off where the execution wasn't top notch.
"We will have games like this, where we don't execute what we want. But as long as the intent is there to improve, we'll be in a good zone. I think South Africa bowled well, the pitch suited them in the first innings and we weren't able to read the tempo of the game well," said Kohli.
Kohli said that to challenge the players out of their comfirt zone by batting first is precisely because T20 is one format, where chasing is easier than batting first.
"I would say only in T20 cricket (where chasing is easier). In one-day cricket, you have time for the bowlers to comeback, but here a partnership of 40-50 can take the game away from you. One good partnership and you are under the pump even if you are defending 200," said Kohli.
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