India’s fielding in the home season so far has been shambolic to say the least. With the series on the line on Wednesday, two dropped catches, each from KL Rahul and Deepak Chahar didn’t help, but thanks to Kuldeep Yadav’s hat-trick, the hosts were able to trounce the West Indies if you go by the final 107-run margin.
Captain Virat Kohli too admitted that India’s fielding so far has been disappointing. “Catching has been disappointing. It is not the representation of the kind of standards that we set. It’s very important to maintain standards and live up to it. We are one of the best fielding sides in the world. Fielding is all about wanting the ball. As long as we are enjoying that, we will be right up there,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony at Visakhapatnam after the hosts levelled the three-match series 1-1.
Kohli however was all praise for the batting department. “I think what has been good is in the last three games including the one at Wankhede and first two ODIs, we have batted pretty well in the first half. Batting second has never been an issue. We’re one of the top sides, if not the best, while chasing. It is always good to see the team getting 40-50 extra that what you would’ve thought at the start of the game. I think it all boils down to the good foundation,” he said.
Besides lavishing praise on openers Rohit Sharma (159) and Rahul (102) for their splendid 227-run partnership, Kohli also credited Shreyas Iyer for slowly making the much-talked about No. 4 position his own.
“Rohit and KL were outstanding, the opening partnership set it up. Shreyas and Rishabh, the way they played and scored 55 runs in that two overs. It was fantastic hitting. Credit has to go to openers. Look, the more we get confident while batting first in T20 cricket, we can really go out there and express ourselves. It’s been very nice to see the way we batted first especially after losing the toss. We want to bat the opposition out of the game if we bat first,” he said.
“It was made more out of an issue that it actually was (the number 4 conundrum during World Cup). If the number 4 doesn’t get to bat consistently, then it doesn’t help. He’s (Shreyas Iyer) grabbed his chances and performed well. It’s a very tricky situation to come in and we are just happy that a youngster has come in and is playing freely.”