Virat Kohli and Sarfraz Ahmed. Pic/ AFP
Praising Pakistan for their brilliant all-round performance in the Champions Trophy final here on Sunday, Indian skipper Virat Kohli said the green brigade can upset any team on their day.
Kohli said Pakistani players were more intense and passionate in the final which also helped them outplay the India team in every department of the game.
Pakistan dominated with both bat and ball to thrash a rather off-colour India by 180 runs and lift the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy on Sunday.
This was the first Champions Trophy title for Pakistan. The south Asian nation claimed their third ICC tournament, having earlier won the 50-over World Cup in 1992 and the World Twenty20 in 2009.
Put in to bat, Pakistan rode on a century by opener Fakhar Zaman to post a massive total of 338/4 in the allotted 50 overs.
In reply, India were all out for 158 runs in 30.3 overs.
"It was disappointing. Congos to Pakistan. The way they turned things around, it was amazing. They can upset anyone on their day," Kohli said after the match.
"I have a smile on my face because I am very proud of the boys. Credit to Pakistan. They outplayed us. They were more intense and more passionate.
"With the ball, we could have had more wicket-taking opportunities. Sometimes, the opposition does play very well. Even with the ball, they were very aggressive," he added.
Kohli also praised young all-rounder Hardik Pandya, who was the highest scorer among the Indians with 76 runs off 43 balls.
Pandya scripted the fastest half-century in a world One-Day International (ODI) final, reaching the landmark in 32 deliveries with three consecutive sixes off leg-spinner Shadab Khan.
The 28-year-old skipper partially blamed pacer Jasprit Bumrah's no-ball which gave opener and century-maker Fakhar Zaman -- who was on three at that time -- a life which helped Pakistan post a massive total.
"Hardik played well. Small margins can be massive in cricket. We need to move on and learn from our mistakes," Kohli said.
Pakistan cricket fans took to social media site Twitter to show their admiration for the Indian captain for his superb comments during the post-match conference.
Superb sportsmanship from @imVkohli in the interview right now. ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¾— Mosharraf Zaidi (@mosharrafzaidi) 18 June 2017
Credit too to @imVkohli for being gracious to PK and their fans - no greater team to play against— fatima bhutto (@fbhutto) 18 June 2017
Virat Kohli, full of respect towards arch rivals and victorious opponents today, is such a remarkable ambassador for the game.— Mirza Waheed (@MirzaWaheed) 18 June 2017
Thank you @imVkohli for very kind words for us. And Team India, you're a really good team. It is an honour to have won from World Champions.— Marvi Sirmed (@marvisirmed) 18 June 2017
Even former international cricket stars like Brendon McCullum and Shane Warne went on to praise Virat Kohli for his comments during the conference.
India excellent throughout tournament except today. Impressed how well @imVkohli spoke post match. Gracious in defeat.— Brendon McCullum (@Bazmccullum) 18 June 2017
(With inputs from IANS)
Video: Team India abused on Champions Trophy 2017 Wikipedia page
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