Sunday, May 22, 2022

Virat Kohli Says India Were 'Not Brave Enough' Vs New Zealand, And 'There Is A lot Of Cricket To Be Played'

Seven days after suffering a 10-wicket hammering at the hands of Pakistan, India crashed to an eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand in their second Super 12 match of ICC T20 World Cup 2021.

Virat Kohli Says India Were 'Not Brave Enough' Vs New Zealand, And 'There Is A lot Of Cricket To Be Played'
India captain Virat Kohli reacts to a boundary hit by New Zealand's Daryl Mitchell during their ICC T20 World Cup 2021 match in Dubai, UAE on October 31, 2021. AP Photo

Virat Kohli gave a brutal assessment of India's lethargic performance against New Zealand in their second Super 12 match of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 on Sunday. Put into bat, India managed just 110/7, then allowed the Kiwis to reach the target in 14.3 overs.

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"I don't think we were brave enough with bat or ball. We were not brave enough with our body language," Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

The eight-wicket defeat in Dubai, where they have also suffered a 10-wicket thrashing at the hands of Pakistan, put the side in danger of an early exit from the T20 World Cup.

"We didn't have much to defend but we weren't brave when we walked out to field," Kohli added, saying "when you play for the Indian cricket team you have a lot of expectations -- not just from fans, but players as well."

Talking about pressure, Kohli said that every player should "embrace it".

"So there's always going to be more pressure with our games and we've embraced it over the years. Everyone who plays for India has to embrace it. And when you cope together as a team you overcome it and we haven't done it these two games.

"Just because you're the Indian team and there are expectations doesn't mean you start playing differently. I think we're fine, there's a lot of cricket left to play," Kohli added, referring to the three remaining group games that the team must win to stay in contention.

India are scheduled to play Afghanistan on November 3 in their third Group 2 match. It will be followed by fixtures against Scotland on November 5 and Namibia on November 8.

Kane Williamson played a captain's knock, hitting an unbeaten on 33. Opener Daryl Mitchell top-scored with a 35-ball 49.

"There's always planning going into games. But a fantastic all-round performance from us against a formidable India side. We were able to build pressure throughout and the way the openers came out really set the platform," Williamson said.

"The balance of our attack has two spinners in it, I think the collective unit was impressive, the way they kept passing the baton. We saw some very good signs in our first match as well and we built on that.

"Look you play against such strong teams all the time, for us it's about playing our game. Ish is an outstanding T20 bowler, white-ball bowler in particular. He's been a big part and played in a number of competitions, and in these conditions spin will play a part."


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