“England have played better cricket than us today. We accept that. With the ball, in the field and with the bat, they were precise. They were the deserving winners at the end of the day.”
These words of Virat Kohli aptly acknowledged the supremacy of England in the opening match of the T20 series here. As a captain, he knew his team was outplayed.
And he continued, “You have to stand up and applaud the opposition when they play well. Today, England performed the way we know they can. Credit to their bowlers for bowling hard lengths, they extracted pace and bounce. As I said, they were precise.”
Kohli felt India fell 30-35 runs short and quickly admitted, "there are things we need to address and learn from this game. This is a format you need to enjoy and have to play at your intense best. I think we have played some really good cricket this season and deserve to enjoy these T20s."
He had a word of praise for young leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. "I have confidence in him. He plays with me in Royal Challengers Bangalore and bowls with the new ball there, as well, with mid-on and mid-off up. He has the wicket-taking ability and is confident in his skills. Youngster showing character is always a positive sign."
An obviously-joyous England captain Eoin Morgan said, "I thought our bowlers were outstanding tonight. Everybody executed the plans. (Moeen) Ali, in particular, showed great resolve on a wicket which wasn’t turning much."
Talking of two men who were not involved in the ODIs – Tymal Mills and Chris Jordan – Morgan said, "They executed beautifully and made it hard for the Indian batsmen on what was a small ground."
Touching upon the contribution of the England openers, Morgan said, "Whenever you’re chasing a low total, getting off to a flier is a huge positive. It releases the pressure on the guys coming in. It allows them to take more time and control the chase a bit more. Sam Billings hasn’t played a great deal on this tour but has taken the two chances he’s had.
Man-of-the-Match Moeen Ali, who took two for 21, said, "I think as a bowling unit we were fantastic, fielded very well and the way the guys batted, was fantastic. Just pleased to be 1-0 up. Going to be a big next two games."
Talking about his bowling, Ali said, "I’ve been bowling quite well in the ODIs. Took some confidence from the ODIs and didn’t do much different, to be honest."
Joe Root, who was there when England crossed the finish-line, said "It’s nice to come back here and make an impact. With the ball, we kept taking wickets, put them under pressure and not let them have partnerships.
"Then with the bat, we knew we wanted one big partnership. Not necessarily the prettiest, especially from me. We got the job done."
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