India’s bowling at the death overs is a worrying factor: Virat Kohli

Given quite a few anxious moments by minnows Afghanistan in their World Twenty20 opener, India's in-form batsman Virat Kohli conceded that his side's bowling at the death overs is a "worrying factor", says a report in The Times Of India. "I believe we could have done better as a bowling unit and won by a bigger margin. We could have bowled in better areas. I think our bowling in the initial overs has been pretty good but it is the bowling at the death that needs to improve," Kohli said after the scrappy 23-run win last night.

Asked whether he expected Afghanistan to put up the kind of fight they did, Kohli replied, "That's exactly what happens when you play a lower-ranked opposition. They do not have the fear of failure. They are not concerned about the match situations and little things. Normally, in these situations, you find players expressing themselves well and doing the right things more often than not."

Kohli said that against better oppositions like England, the team would suitably "gear up and execute the plans."

Meanwhile a report in The Hindu says that England return to a city from which it departed with heads held high in April. Back then, Andrew Strauss’s men had to win the second Test here at the P. Sara Oval to draw level the series at 1-1 and hold onto its No.1 ranking in the game’s longest version.

“The goal was secured but if the Sri Lankan capital’s positive vibe still doesn’t rub off on the visitor, the current squad led by Stuart Broad, can also bank on history to bolster its spirits, stepping in as it does with the tag of being defending champion in the ICC World Twenty20. However, gearing up ahead of its opening match — a Group A fixture against Afghanistan at the R. Premadasa Stadium — here on Friday, Broad’s men will be aware that an estranged team-mate (Kevin Pietersen), holding a microphone in a television studio, will cast a huge shadow,” adds the report.

Meanwhile, openers Richard Levi and Hashim Amla made light of a small target to steer South Africa to a convincing 10-wicket win over Zimbabwe in their ICC World Twenty20 match here on Thursday.

Set a score of 94 to win, the hard-hitting Levi, who carved out an unbeaten 50 (43 balls, 6x4), and the prolific Amla (32, 33 balls, 3x4) knocked off the runs in the 12.4 overs to help South Africa get off to a flying start in the tournament, while a second successive defeat saw Zimbabwe make its exit.