India captain Virat Kohli accepted England were better than India in the first T20 in Kanpur. The visitors’ captain Eoin Mrgan scored 51 to help his team take 1-0 lead in three-game series.
“With the ball, in the field and with the bat, they were precise. Today England performed the way we know they can,” said Kohli at the post-match presentation.
“The opposition can upset you at any stage as we have seen in T20 cricket. I think we have played some really good cricket this season and deserve to enjoy these T20s. We have a young side, important for them to enjoy. It’s up to us seniors to take the load off them.”
As many as three England bowlers averaged under seven runs per over, including Man of the Match Moeen Ali who took 2/21. Kohli said the length bowled by England prevented India from going into an overdrive.
“Credit to their bowlers for bowling hard lengths, they extracted pace and bounce. As I said, they were precise. Explosive start at the top, these are things we need to address and learn from this game,” said Kohli.
Kohli was confident about getting more results from Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate Yuzvendra Chahal, who gave India a glimmer of hope with two wickets in the same over. “I have a lot of confidence in him. He bowls with the new ball 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,” said Kohli.
England captain Morgan credited his bowlers for restricting to at least 30 runs below the par score. “Our bowlers were outstanding tonight. Moeen Ali in particular showed great resolve. We showed a lot of experience, and Tymal Mills and Chris Jordan put their hands up in very important roles. They made it very hard for the Indian batsmen on a small ground,” said Morgan.
Morgan featured in a match-winning 83-run partnership with Joe Root who had missed the third ODI in Kolkata. Root said Morgan’s big-hitting helped him settle easily. “It did play a little bit better under lights. There was some variable bounce with the new ball while batting first. It wasn’t my most fluent knock but Morgs (Morgan) took all the pressure of me,” said Root.
“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.”