India’s hopes of making it to the semi-finals of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 received a massive jolt after New Zealand hammered Virat Kohli & C.o by eight wickets on Sunday.
The Asian giants, who entered the tournament as one of the favourites, were stunned first by Pakistan and then the Kiwis by 10 wickets and eight wickets, respectively.
Kohli admitted they were not brave enough on the field in both games. Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Virat Kohli said:
“Quite bizarre. I don’t think we were brave enough with bat or ball. We didn’t have much to defend but we weren’t brave when we walked onto the field. Whenever we looked to take the game on, we lost a wicket. That happens in T20 cricket when some hesitation set in.”
India’s batting looked quite fragile in both games. After managing 152 against Pakistan, Kohli & his boys managed only 110 today. Ravindra Jadeja (26*) topped the batting charts in another top-order failure. New Zealand banked on Daryl Mitchell and Kane Williamson to chase down the target in just 14.3 overs.
When quizzed on whether expectations have got the better of the players, Virat Kohli said:
“When you play for the Indian cricket team you obviously have a lot of expectations and everyone knows that – not just from fans, but players themselves. So there’s always going to be more pressure with our games and we’ve embraced it over the years.”
“Everyone who plays for the Indian team has to embrace it. And when you embrace it and cope together as a team you’re able to overcome the pressure and we haven’t done it these two games. Just because you’re in the Indian team and there are expectations doesn’t mean you start playing differently.”
“I think we have to disconnect from that a little bit” – Virat Kohli
With two consecutive defeats, India stare at an ouster from the group stage of the competition. Virat Kohli reflected that the cricketers need to disconnect from that fact a bit ahead of their next tie.
“I think we have to disconnect from that a little bit and take pride as a team. As long as individuals are looking to do that, we’re fine. There’s a lot of cricket left to play,” Virat Kohli concluded.
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India will lock horns with Afghanistan, who defeated Namibia in their last match, in their next game on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi.