Indian skipper Virat Kohli minced no words as he ripped apart India’s fielding performance in the second T20I against West Indies. The hosts were poor on the field, dropping three crucial catches as the Windies sealed a comfortable 8-wicket victory. The result levelled up the series 1-1 with the decider to be played in Mumbai on 11th December.
Both the West Indies openers Lendl Simmons and Evin Lewis got a big reprieve in the fifth over of the match. They were dropped by Washington Sundar and Rishabh Pant respectively. The pair eventually put up an opening stand of 73 on the board, setting the visitors up for a comfortable victory. Nicholas Pooran was also dropped on 18 by Shreyas Iyer as India paid a heavy price for the missed chances.
Speaking to Star Sports 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. 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.”
Kohli himself was excellent on the field, pulling off a difficult catch to dismiss the dangerous-looking Shimron Hetmyer. On his effort, he 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.”
With the preparation for the T20I World Cup in Australia next year in full swing, India will certainly have to up their game in all the three departments to mount a serious challenge for the title.