After losing the second T20I against England in the three-match series on Friday, Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper felt that England were the better side on the day even though India competed well.
During the post-match presentation ceremony, Kohli said that the loss of three early wickets hurt India's chances of putting a huge score. "When you lose 3 wickets in the first 6 overs for 30 runs it's difficult to come back. I thought a partnership would get us to 145, and that would have been competitive. Average scores in local tournaments were around 145," he said.
India's batting in the powerplay was not at its best as they lost openers Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and last match centurion KL Rahul in quick succession. Kohli believed that the team encountered some problems with the extra bounce in the pitch.
"England made good use of the wicket which had some extra bounce and some assistance for the seamers. They put pressure on us and made us lose wickets, and the run-out didn't help either. We were probably about 15 runs short. We were pushed back initially in the first six overs. Our powerplay was not good enough, and the score, in the end, reflects that and we just couldn't push as much as we wanted in the end," he added.
Still, Virat thought that the 148 that India ended up with wasn't a bad score as he knew that the onus was upon England to win the match and keep the series alive. "You do take everything into account, like the pitch, etc. We did well and we knew it would be difficult for England to chase down 149 and level the series, and I think they had the partnership we didn't to close it off in the end. We knew it would be something they would have to work hard to win," opined the India captain.
The fact that the English batsmen played their tormentor from the last match- Kuldeep Yadav - a lot better on Friday, was a huge plus point for them feels Kohli. "They played Kuldeep really well. Chahal was outstanding and they switched roles in both games. They did their homework on Kuldeep and they reaped the rewards. It's a cruel format for the bowlers, Umesh was fantastic as well, and so was Bhuvi, but unfortunately he couldn't finish it off. That boundary in the end (19th over) from Hales pulled it back for them and these small things count in T20s which makes it such an interesting watch. We gotta brush it aside, take it in our stride and move onto the next game. I think we competed quite well but England were the better side, that's why they came through today," concluded Kohli.
Meanwhile the winning England captain Eoin Morgan was full of praise for his team and the way they bounced back from the terrible performance in the first match. "I think we did well to come back from Old Trafford, we played quite well. When there is bounce in the wicket there is certainly a chance to take wickets upfront, and we did that. Willey did well and set the tone and Jake Ball was great on debut. Only chasing 150 can be a cagey affair but we will walk away from this with a lot of confidence. The momentum does ebb and flow, and the side that grabs the moment will definitely win the game.
"Alex was fantastic today. The bowling unit adapted to conditions really well. We got good partnerships going which is important when you're chasing. We normally play spin well, and the guys had good confidence coming into the series and they stuck to the plans and executed extremely well today. It's a matter of being logical and committing to the plan and there was complete transparency in everything that our players did," he said.