Mumbai: India captain Virat Kohli said the best aspect of the series-clinching win over West Indies in the third and final T20 International here was that his team finally managed to post a big score while batting first.
While India have been good at chasing for a while now, they have been making a conscious effort to amass big totals batting first ahead of the T20 World Cup next year. Kohli led from the front smashing an unbeaten 70 off 29 balls as India beat West Indies by 67 runs in the third T20 here on Wednesday. For someone who is more of a boundary-hitter, Kohli hit seven sixes in his whirlwind knock.
“We had spoken a lot (big first innings score). It was about going out on the field and executing. I had the opportunity to do something different, which I don’t usually do. I told KL to stay on till the end, and said I’ll try and smash a few,” said Kohli at the post-match presentation.
Kohli wanted to show a different facet of his batting and couldn’t have chosen a better day than his second wedding anniversary and said the series win was a ‘special gift’ to his wife Anushka Sharma. “It was a pretty special innings and also being our second wedding anniversary, it was a special gift. It was a special night and one of the best innings I have played,” Kohli said.
Someone who is more of a boundary-hitter, Kohli had seven sixes in his 29-ball-70. The best part was about putting up a big score while batting first and the skipper was pleased as punch.
One could have been surprised by his modesty when the skipper said that he feels he can contribute across formats. “I know that I can contribute in all formats, it’s about putting your mind to it. My role becomes crucial, because I have to play two roles. I’m trying to be able to play like this as well,” he added.
He praised KL Rahul for his 91 off 56 balls and Rohit Sharma for his 71 off 34. The duo added 135 for the opening stand. “You have to do it out there in the middle to gain confidence from it. I think two guys in the middle with clarity, the way Rahul and Rohit played, that is key. Batting first (earlier), we’ve been too tight and hesitant, should we go for it, should we not,” he said.