Virat Kohli defends India's attacking field in narrow loss to West Indies

Virat Kohli was asked to lead the side after regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni suffered from cramps while batting © Getty Images

Kingston: Jul 1, 2013

India‘s stand-in skipper Virat Kohli has said that he was forced to keep an attacking field against the West Indies as he needed wickets to defend a modest target of 230 at Sabina Park on Sunday.

Kohli was asked to lead the side after regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni suffered from cramps while batting and the 24-year-old said it was a good experience.

“I have captained in the Indian Premier League but that’s a Twenty20 game,” Kohli said.

“This was totally unexpected. It was more thinking on the feet. It was a good experience for me. I had to keep attacking fields throughout the game because we needed wickets,” he added.

Chasing 230, West Indies rode on Johnson Charles’ 97 to win the match with 14 balls to spare and Kohli heaped praise on the young batsman.

“He is someone who’s done well for [West Indies]. It’s a good thing for them. It’s good to see a young player from West Indies coming through and play the match-winning knock. We were putting pressure on him and he really stood up,” said the Delhi batsman.

Defending the modest total, Indian bowlers did well to trigger a mini collapse, which left the West Indies struggling at 212 for eight after 41 overs.

Kohli then made a surprise decision by bringing in part-timer, Suresh Raina and the off-spinner didn’t disappoint as he snapped Sunil Narine’s wicket in his second over.

“[Sunil] Narine was batting and I thought Raina is good to left-handers and when he bowls around the wicket, he sort of skids it on. I thought he might hit the pad or force them on to the front foot,” he said.

However, No 9 batsman Kemar Roach, on his 25th birthday, dashed India’s hopes as he kept his cool to score 14 crucial runs and take West Indies home.