Kohli hits form against England after "chat" with India managers

Ahmedabad (India) (AFP) –


India skipper Virat Kohli revealed Sunday that India's managers had "a chat" about his batting form before his unbeaten 73 steered India to a seven-wicket win over England to level their T20 series.

After England's emphatic win in the first game, India came out "all guns blazing" for the second of the five matches, according to England captain Eoin Morgan.

Kohli and debutant Ishan Kishan put on 93 for the second wicket as India reached their 165 target in 17.5 overs.

Kishan, just 22, delighted the Ahmedabad crowd with his 56 off 32 balls before he fell to Adil Rashid's leg-spin.

Kohli hit form after three ducks in his five previous international innings to seal the match with a four and a six.

"I had to shift the focus back to the basics," said Kohli, who became the first T20 batsman to go past 3,000 runs.

"The management spoke to me about things," he added without giving details.

He said his wife Bollywood star Anushka Sharma had also waded in while he had a "a special chat" with South African veteran A.B. de Villiers before the game.

"He told me just to watch the ball and that's what I did."

Sam Curran struck in the first over to get K.L. Rahul caught behind without scoring but Kishan and Kohli took charge.

Kohli was on 10 when England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler failed to grab a flick down the leg side off Chris Jordan. He made the most of the reprieve.

Kishan, who was dropped on 40 by Ben Stokes, smashed Rashid for two successive sixes to pass 50 but departed in the same over.

Kohli praised his young partner's "fearless" approach, that has made him a star of the Indian Premier League, in his knock laced with five fours and four sixes.

- Kishan blitz -

"I tried to do what I can but he just took the game away from the opposition. A quality innings on his debut," Kohli said.

"He knew he was hitting the ball well but he was calculated, not reckless."

Rishabh Pant made 26 off 13 balls with two fours and two sixes.

England were made to bat first and Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur claimed two wickets each to limit England to 164 for six after the tourists reached 83-2 from 10 overs.

Opener Jason Roy scored 46 and put on 63 for the second wicket with Dawid Malan (24).

Roy, who scored 49 in England's opening win on Friday, missed out on another fifty after getting caught at deep square leg off Sundar.

Sundar struck again in his next over to claim Jonny Bairstow for 20 and medium-pacer Thakur cut short skipper Eoin Morgan's stay after getting him caught on a slower delivery. Morgan made 28.

"The wicket was quite low and slow and didn't really turn a great deal and that exposed our weaknesses. We don't play a lot on slow and low wickets," Morgan said of the pitch.

"I do think we were below par with our standards."

Morgan said they missed fast bowler Mark Wood, who sat out of the game due to a bruised heel and was replaced by Tom Curran. England hope to have Wood again for the third game on Tuesday at the same stadium.

Stokes hit 24 before falling to Thakur in the final over as India checked the scoring by giving away just 35 runs in the final five overs.