India skipper Virat Kohli calls T20 opener against Proteas team's most balanced performance

When South Africa were batting, Kohli left the field for a brief while after getting injured.

Published: 18th February 2018 10:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th February 2018 10:28 PM   |  A+A-

Indian captain Virat Kohli taking a run during the 1st T20I cricket match in Johannesburg | AP


JOHANNESBURG: Captain Virat Kohli allayed injury-related fears and then termed India's 28-run win over South Africa in the first T20 International "one of our most balanced performances" in recent times.

Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar shone bright as India emerged easy winners in the opening game of the three-match series, two days after completing a 5-1 rout of the hosts in the ODIs.

When South Africa were batting, Kohli left the field for a brief while after getting injured.

"The injury was early on in the innings. It was in the glutes while taking a single. Thankfully it wasn't a hamstring. So I went off before I would tear a muscle," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

It was a complete team effort and Kohli acknowledged it.

"It was a really good wicket to bat on. Rohit and Shikhar were outstanding at the top. It was a total team batting performance and in the end Bhuvi showing his experience - all in all it was a good team effort.

"We were looking to do this in T20s for a long. It was one of our most balanced performances."

South Africa pulled things back a bit after India were off to a flyer, but the visitors till managed a strong 203 for five in the allotted 20 overs.

"With the ball, Bhuvi was showing his experience. We never let the run rate drop less than 10.5. I was thinking maybe 220 at the 16-over mark. The basic message to the team was we are here till 25th. We can't go away before that and have to make the best of every time here."

The skipper further said, "We wanted to make the most of the time we have left here. It's an opportunity to play for your country every time and we have fresh faces who are looking for those opportunities at all times so there's a new motivation every time."

South Africa captain JP Duminy said the lack of partnerships played a part in his side's defeat.

"Very disappointed. I think in terms of the first six overs with the fall we're always looking to take some wickets. And they're going to get boundaries. I was happy in fact. But we couldn't get any partnerships in.

"Pretty happy with our plans but we didn't get the lines right. I thought we could get over the line chasing this target but we didn't put the partnerships together.Very happy with the new guys. You can't fault them in this format, it's up to us experienced batsmen."

Man of the Match Bhuvneshwar, who returned figures of 5/24, said he aimed at bowling at the right areas.

"I just wanted to bowl in the good areas and it's a result of that. Seeing how they were bowling and how the wicket was, we planned our bowling and it worked for us.I enjoy bowling in the tough situations (at the start and end of the innings).

The knuckle ball (with the seam up) is something I've been working on for almost a year.Nowadays you need to figure out new ways to get wickets."



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