Skipper Hardik Pandya blamed his players for another poor performance with the bat as India lost to West Indies by two wickets with seven balls to spare in a thrilling second T20I here on Sunday.
India went down to West Indies despite a brilliant fightback with the ball in which they affected a late West Indies collapse, claiming four wickets for two runs in the 16th and 17th overs before the hosts scrapped through thanks to an undefeated 26 runs partnership between Akeal Hosein and Alzari Joseph for the ninth wicket.
India could manage a below-par 152/7 in 20 overs thanks mainly to Tilak Varma, who struck a superb 51, his maiden half-century in only his second T20I. Skipper Pandya struck twin blows in his first over and Arshdeep claimed one wicket as India reduced West Indies to 32/3 in the powerplay. But Nicholas Pooran hammered a 40-ball 67 and shared a 57-run partnership with skipper Rovman Powell (21) to set West Indies on course to victory.
India clearly fell short by at least 20 runs on this wicket and skipper Pandya said their effort with the bat was not a pleasing one.
“That was not a pleasing batting performance by us. The wickets were falling, and the track was on the slower side. We were not good enough to get to 160+. Batters need to take more responsibility,” said Pandya after the match.
The Indian skipper said the team’s long tail was because of the combination they were trying to put in.
“It is what it is. The current combination that we have means we have to play with seven batters. Bowlers win your games. We have to figure out how we get batting strength from No. 8, 9, 10,” said the Indian skipper.
However, there was one silver lining for India in the batting department — the sensational batting by young Tilak Varma, who was the top-scorer for India in a second successive match. On Sunday, Varma blasted a 41-ball 51 to help India put up a respectable total.
“The way he has been batting, that is something we are looking at. A left-hander at No.4 gives us a right-left combination throughout. The youngsters are coming with confidence and fearlessness,” said Pandya, who was the most successful bowler with 3-35.
Pandya admitted that he had to hold back his spinners with Pooran going great guns. Because of this, Pandya could not use Yuzvendra Chahal’s quota fully despite the Chinaman spinner claiming 2-19 in three overs.
“The way Pooran has been batting makes it difficult to rotate spinners. Doesn’t matter if someone takes the ball away or into him. The way he batted from two for two, it was incredible,” Pandya said.