Bengaluru, “Miscommunication” between Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer nearly saw both players walking out to bat at the same time, creating confusion during the third T20 International between India and South Africa here on Sunday.
After the dismissal of opener Shikhar Dhawan, both Iyer and Pant seemed headed towards the pitch before the latter eventually walked in to join his captain at the number four position.
Kohli was asked about it at the post-match press conference after South Africa emerged winners by nine wickets. “I think there was a miscommunication. That was what I understood afterwards,” he said.
“The batting coach had a word with both of them. There was a misunderstanding over who has to go at what stage,” Kohli said. “It was a little funny as well afterwards because they both wanted to walk in. So it would have been very funny if both reached the pitch, you know three batsmen in the field.”
Asked who was originally slated to bat at number four, Kohli said they “had plans” according to phases.
“I think after 10 overs what we had decided was that Rishabh would walk in, and before that, Shreyas had to walk in. But I think both of them got confused and didn’t realise who has to walk in at what stage of the game,” Kolhi said.
Kohli’s bold move to bat first boomeranged on his team as Quinton de Kock (79) spearheaded South Africa’s chase for a series-levelling nine-wicket win in the third T20 International here on Sunday.
“Exactly what we wanted to do and that’s going to be the template we’ll follow for games we have before the World Cup (on opting to bat after winning the toss). The mindset has to be flexible and to try out things when situations are stacked against us. We will have games like this where we don’t execute what we want. But as long as the intent is there to improve, we’ll be in a good zone.”
India skipper also admitted that the South African bowlers bowled well and used the pitch well as the hosts failed to read the tempo of the game.
“I think South Africa bowled well, the pitch suited them in the first innings and we weren’t able to read the tempo of the game well. I would say only in T20 cricket (where chasing is easier).”
“In one-day cricket you have time for the bowlers to come back, but here a partnership of 40-50 can take the game away from you. One good partnership and you’re under the pump even if you’re defending 200.”