World Cup 2019: 45 minutes of bad cricket put us out, says Virat Kohli
Pensive Virat Kohli puts World Cup semi-final defeat to NZ in perspective; rues 40-45 minutes of 'bad cricket'
Manchester: The disappointment of not making the final was palpable on skipper Virat Kohli's face after the loss to New Zealand. He was not happy with the way things panned out in yesterday's semi-final, but the Indian captain was mighty proud with the way his team played in the tournament.
"Look, you obviously feel bad for the result and everyone goes out there to win the game for the team and if it doesn't happen, you feel like you could have done things differently or look at things in hindsight. But yeah, that is why these games are called knockouts because if the opposition plays better, you are out of the tournament. So we have to accept that.
Captain Virat Kohli is dejected after India's semi-final loss to New Zealand at Old Trafford in Manchester yesterday. Pic /AFP
"I think we are sad, but we are not devastated because of the kind of cricket that we played in this tournament. You finish No. 1 on the table and then a spell 40 to 45 minutes of bad cricket puts you out of the tournament completely. It's happened to us before and we have all come out better cricketers because of these setbacks, especially at a stage like the World Cup," said Kohli. The spell of bad cricket that Kohli referred to was the dismissal of India's top three batsmen — Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Kohli — for one run each to put India in more than just a spot of bother at 5 for 3. "New Zealand deserve a lot of credit because they put up a great display [on] how to bowl with the new ball and they had perfect line and lengths and forced us to sort of make errors, if any, or bowl good deliveries to us so the pressure created was immense in those first 40, 45 minutes," Kohli said.
Also read: World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson's mutual admiration lesson for young turks
The fickle middle-order was considered India's achilles heel and yesterday provided an ultimate test. A useful partnership was forged through Hardik Pandya (32) and Rishabh Pant (32) but a rash shot from the young and instinctive wicketkeeper-batsman led to his departure. Kohli did not castigate Pant for his approach, but hoped he would learn from his mistakes. "The way they played after the loss of three wickets, four wickets rather, was quite commendable and on hindsight he's [Pant] still young. On the outside it looks like it was an error but the person who makes it, trust me, is the one who suffers the most with it. I'm sure he will reflect on it and will come out stronger," said Kohli.
Rohit Sharma after India's loss
India managed to come back in the game only due to Ravindra Jadeja's fighting 77 off 59 balls and MS Dhoni's 72-ball 50. The efforts, however, were not enough. Kohli said Jadeja was fired up after harsh comments from India batsman-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar. "I don't think we, any of us had to say anything to Jadeja after what happened over the last one week. He was quite ready to just get on to the park, to be honest. And you saw the passion with which he played. This is probably his best knock because of the kind of pressure and the stage we were at — almost out of the game and then he produces that," he said.
New Zealand 239-8 in 50 overs (R Taylor 74, K Williamson 67; B Kumar 3-43, R Jadeja 1-34) beat India 221 in 49.3 overs
(R Jadeja 77, MS Dhoni 50;
M Henry 3-37, M Santner 2-34, T Boult 2-42) by 18 runs
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