Virat Kohli comes down hard on India’s sloppy fielding after the team suffered a 66-run loss to Australia in the series opener at the SCG on Friday. Indians were rusty on the field as the team was probably getting used to playing back international cricket after nine months.
In the 37th over Australia’s innings, India had a chance to send Steve Smith back; Shikhar Dhawan misjudged at long-on and ran too far in. After three over, Yuzvendra Chahal nearly pulled off a stunning catch to take out Aaron Finch but couldn’t hold on to the ball at short fine leg; thus, both went on to hit centuries.
In the 43rd over, Hardik Pandya got a hand to Glenn Maxwell’s bullet hit but helped parry it over the ropes again; a diving Shreyas Iyer couldn’t quite reach the ball on time as it comes to the boundary. Mayank Agarwal’s misfield also resulted in a four.
While explaining the reason behind India’s sloppy fielding, Virat Kohli said, “Got enough time to prepare. I don’t think there can be any excuses. Probably the first long game we have played in a while, been playing T20 cricket. Probably that is something that can have an effect. Body language wasn’t great after around 25 overs. If you don’t take your chances against top-quality opposition, they will make you pay.”
Apart from sloppy fielding, Indian bowlers had an off day with the ball as Australia hammered them to put on 374/6 on the board. However, the lack of a sixth bowler was visible, but Pandya and Dhawan played impactful knocks and managed to 308/8 in reply.
Speaking on the sixth bowler, Kohli said, “Unfortunately, Hardik is not fit enough to bowl, and we don’t have other all-round options to pick from either, someone like Stoinis or Maxwell.”
“From the batting point of view, we had a chat briefly now. All the batsmen committed to it, which is why you saw us playing with intent. I think we gave ourselves the best chance. Hardik’s innings was the best example of that. As a batting unit, we committed nicely to positive cricket, and we are going to do that in the future as well,” Virat Kohli said.
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