India captain Hardik Pandya admitted the team made a few mistakes that cost in Blue in the first T20I against West Indies in Trinidad on Thursday. Chasing a low total at the Brian Lara stadium, India fell short by four runs as the match went down the wire.
Hardik was indicating Yuzvendra Chahal dropping Rovman Powell which proved to be the game-changing moment. Powell was dropped by Chahal in the extra cover in the 15th over off the bowling of Hardik at 28. The West Indies captain went on to make 48, which turned the game. “We made some errors which cost us the game which is fine. A young team will make mistakes. We will grow together,” Hardik said after the game.
Opting to bat first, Brandon King gave West Indies a bright start with his fluent 28. However, Yuzvendra Chahal put the brakes on with a two-wicket burst in his first over. West Indies were three down in the eight over before two forty-plus knocks from Nicolas Pooran and Powell helped them finish at 149/6.
In reply, India had a disastrous start losing Shubman Gill in the third over before Ishan Kishan too followed suit. Debutant Tilak Varma was impressive in his 22-ball 39 but lacked supoort from his teammates as India lost wickets at regular intervals to finish at 145/9.
Throughout the game, we were in control of the game which was the positive in this game. Good four games coming ahead. In T20 cricket, if you lose wickets, it becomes difficult to chase down any total, that’s exactly what happened. A couple of hits can change the momentum towards you. When we lost a couple of wickets, that halted our chase, said Hardik.
The Indian skipper also revealed the decision to play three spinners was more to do with the conditions on offer. “It (playing three spinners) was more to do with the conditions. We would like to give opportunities to the two wristies (Kuldeep and Chahal) to play together. Axar adds a very good component in his batting as well. We felt that was the right combination,” he added.
Hardik was also all praise for the two debuutants on the day – Varma and Mukesh Kumar. “Mukesh (Kumar) – to have this two weeks which he has had in West Indies – where he made debuts in all three formats is really good. Genuinely, he’s a nice guy. He has a very good heart, wants to contribute for the team. He bowled a couple of overs back to back and that was fantastic.
Tilak – very pleasing to see the way he started his innings. Not a bad way to start your international cricket with a couple of sixes. There’s confidence and the fearlessness they have. They are going to do wonders for India,” Hardik signed off. The second T20I is on Sunday.