Saturday, June 10, 2023

Kohli praises West Indies bowling after India loss


North Sound (Antigua), July 4 (IANS) India skipper Virat Kohli praised the West Indies bowlers after his side suffered an 11-run defeat in the fourth One-Day International (ODI) at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium here.

“Credit to the West Indies bowlers, they created those dot balls that induced those mistakes. We faltered with the bat and that can happen in this game. We just have to put this behind us and come back fresh for the next game,” Virat Kohli told reporters after Sunday’s game.

The hosts, who elected to bat first, were restricted to 189/9 in their allotted 50 overs here on Sunday. The West Indies then produced a disciplined bowling performance to wrap up the Indian batting for 178 runs.

West Indies skipper Jason Holder picked up a five-wicket haul to help his side successfully defend a low total.

The Indian skipper also applauded his bowlers but criticised the batsmen for the failed show.

“We bowled really well to restrict them to 189,” Kohli said.

“Our shot selection wasn’t up to the mark, losing crucial wickets at crucial stages. You’ve got to keep up the momentum through the game.”

India batting coach Sanjay Bangar expressed his unhappiness with the nature of the track here.

He said that because the pitch kept getting slower and slower, shot-making wasn’t really easy. “And those have been the nature of wickets we have seen so far because, again, we are playing on same track [we played on] just two days ago.”

“So, the wicket kept getting slower and slower, we didn’t really bat to our potential… it was a gettable score. I just felt that batsmen let the team down,” Bangar said.

Except opener Ajinkya Rahane who scored a patient 60 off 91 balls, no other Indian top order batsmen managed to reach double figures.

Shikhar Dhawan (5), Virat Kohli (3), Dinesh Karthik (2) were sent back to the pavillion within the first 13 overs of the chase.

Bangar said he wanted one of the top order batsmen to bat till the end.

“Plan was definitely for someone to bat deeper into the innings and that’s what Ajinkya did till the time he was given out. Till that time, we were really on course and we also lost couple of wickets after Ajinkya, even Kedar got out to a good delivery,” he said.

“Those wickets in the middle overs actually pushed us back and the run rate kept on creeping higher and higher.”

The Indian batting coach also defended Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his slow innings. Dhoni produced an excruciatingly slow innings, reaching his half-century in 108 balls.

The former India captain scored 54 runs, hitting a single boundary during his 114-ball stay in the middle.

“See, you need to assess the conditions. At times you need to play the situations well and when you’re batting higher up the order, which MS is doing, and with the kind of depth that we have at No. 6, 7 and 8, and when they don’t really come off, he can’t play with the kind of freedom that he should,” Bangar said.

“It all boils down to how the batsmen at the other end are also batting and how many wickets we have in hand, because one of our plans is to not lose too many wickets in close intervals and when the wickets fall, we try to rebuild.”

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