Captain Virat Kohli hailed his team's showing in the opening Twenty20 international against South Africa on Sunday, saying that this was "one of our most balanced performances". India outclassed the hosts by 28 runs at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. It was a brilliant all-round performance by India with Shikhar Dhawan starring with the bat and Bhuvneshwar Kumar getting the job done with the ball. India were also electric in the field with both their catching and ground fielding.
"This was one of our most balanced performances. We never let the run rate drop less than 10.5. I was thinking maybe 220 at the 16 over mark. The basic message to the team was we are here till 25th. We can't go away before that and have to make the best of every time here," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Dhawan smashed 72 off 39 balls to power India to 203 for five, their highest T20I score against South Africa.
"Very impressive from the boys. It was a good wicket to bat on. Although Rohit did not get many, but the start off 21 off 9 gave us the start. Shikhar was outstanding. It was a total team batting performance," said Kohli.
Bhuvneshwar became the first Indian pacer and second Indian ever to take a five-for in a T20I match. The Indian pacer registered career-best bowling figures of 5/24 to help India restrict South Africa to 175 for nine.
"With the ball, Bhuvi showed his experience. We could always bank on Jassi (Jasprit Bumrah) and Unadkat did well as well," added the Indian captain.
Meanwhile, India suffered a big injury scare with captain Kohli limping off the field 13 overs into South Africa's innings after suffering a left leg strain while batting.
"The injury was early on in the innings when I went for the single. It was my glute and thankfully not my hammy. You know how I am, I had to bend bit more quickly. Then I felt a little bit more stiffness in my glute and that is why I went off. Not to be stupid and tear a muscle, I decided to go off and get it checked," said Kohli.
The two teams will face off in the second T20I at Centurion on Wednesday where India will look to wrap up the series.