India captain Virat Kohli reckoned the players weren’t “brave enough” especially with the bat against New Zealand as they managed only 110 runs on Sunday night in Dubai. The Kiwis handed the Men In Blue an 8-wicket loss, chasing down 111 inside 15 overs.
Trent Boult had figures of 3/20 and Ish Sodhi, who bagged the Man of the Match award, returned with figures of 2/17, as New Zealand open their account on the points table.
India changed their opening combination: Ishan Kishan, who replaced the injured Suryakumar Yadav, was slotted to open along with KL Rahul, shifting down Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli by one position. The move didn’t work as India stuttered to 48/4 with all the top four batters out.
“Quite bizarre. To be brutal upfront, I don’t think we were brave enough with bat/ball. We obviously didn’t have much to play with the ball. We were just not brave enough in our body language when we entered the field and NZ had better intensity, body language,” Virat Kohli said at the post-match press conference.
Virat Kohli highlighted that most of the batsmen got out while playing the big shots, mistiming or not connecting their slogs well enough.
“Every time we took a chance, we lost a wicket. It’s most often a result of hesitation of whether you should go for a shot or not,” he explained.
We have to play a positive brand of cricket: Virat Kohli
With two losses, and the second one being by a heavy margin, the road to the semi-final for Team India has become very tough and depends on other results. The 32-year-old demanded optimism from his players and fans for the remaining three games.
“When you play for India, there are loads of expectations. We are watched, people come to the stadium and everyone who plays for India needs to embrace that and cope with it. We haven’t done that in these two games, and that’s why we haven’t won.
“We have to be optimistic and positive and take calculated risks. We have to disconnect from the pressure and continue with our process, and play a positive brand of cricket. There’s a lot of cricket to play in the tournament,” Virat Kohli concluded.
Pakistan are leading Group 2 with 6 points, followed by Afghanistan, who have four points after wins over Scotland and Namibia. New Zealand and Namibia hold the third and fourth spot respectively with two points each, while India languish at the fifth and Scotland at the last with no points.
India will next meet Afghanistan on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi.