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Virat Kohli: If you field like that, no total will ever be big enough to defend

Indian skipper Virat Kohli was not happy after how the team fielded during the 2nd of the 3 T20 match against West Indian yesterday in Thiruvananthapuram, saying the team should not expect to win matches if they continue to miss chances on the field. West Indies defeated Indian by 8 wickets, the series is now level at 1-1 and will be decided in Mumbai on the 11th of December. West Indies won the match with 9 balls left and 8 wickets to spare, though West Indies mainly benefitted from the 3 dropped catches, 2 coming in a single over. In the 1st Match that was played in Hyderabad, India dropped 5 catches but still managed to win the match following Kohli’s match winning innings.

In yesterday’s game, two catches were dropped in the 5th over bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar which gave another chance to West Indies openers Evin Lewis and Lendl Simmons.

Washington Sundar dropped an easy catch when Simmons was at 6, a grave mistake as he goes on to hit 65* off 45 deliveries. In the same over just 2 balls later, Rishabh Pant drooped Lewis a rather difficult catch when he had to dive to his left after following the batsman who moved to his right. Lewis was playing on 16, and the initial chances of creating pressure on West Indies side were missed, instead Indian came under pressure after this.

Later on, in the 17th over Shreyas Iyer failed to send Nicholas Pooran back to dressing room as Iyer dropped the catch while Pooran was on 18. West Indies chased India’s 170/7 rather easily.

After the match, Kohli said “We had to get those 15 extra runs to defend, but look, if you field like that, then no total is big enough” continuing “Last two games we have been below par in the field. We were good with the ball, in the first four overs we created enough pressure… and then you drop two chances in a T20 game in one over, that’s going to cost you. If they lose two wickets in one over, the pressure’s on them. I think it’s a game of margins and we need to understand where we went wrong. It’s pretty evident. It’s there for everyone to see and for us to improve on. I think fielding is something we need to be more brave about, and not worry about dropping catches”.

In the 13th over, Kohli dismissed Shimron Hetmyer at 23 as he took an absolute stunner, sprinting all the way and taking a catch with two hands as he dives forward. Kohli said “It was one of those catches that just stuck in the hand. It came out of the lights a little bit, but I just committed to the ball and put both hands out, and luckily it came into my hand, last game I put one hand out and I dropped it. It’s about putting in the effort when you can and sometimes they stick and sometimes they don’t.”

Though, using two hands instead of one to take a catch was not the only thing Kohli had changed last match, he pushed Shivam Dube at number 3 while drooping himself down to number 4.

Kohli said the reason for this was that they “knew the pitch is going to offer something to the spinners. They were going to start with a spinner, so we thought why not Shivam goes up and tries and attacks the spinner”.

He praised Shivam not only because he hit his maiden T20 half century, he said “I think Shivam’s knock is what propelled us towards 170 because the ball wasn’t coming on to the bat so well in the first half”. He said that up until the 16th over, they (India) were doing pretty well, scoring 144 for 4 but from there they could only manage 26 runs instead of 40-45 runs. He added “I think we lacked there a little bit, so we have to focus on that more, to be honest, West Indies assessed the pitch really nicely and they bowled enough cutters and changes of pace to not let us get any momentum”.

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