Virat Kohli says India ‘not brave enough’ as loss to New Zealand hits T20 World Cup semi-final hopes | Cricket News


“When you play for the Indian cricket team you have a lot of expectation. Not only from the fans but from the players themselves. When you cope with it as a team, you are able to cope with that pressure – and we haven’t done that in these two games, which is why we haven’t won”

Last Updated: 31/10/21 6:20pm

Virat Kohli's India have suffered heavy defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand in the T20 World Cup

Virat Kohli’s India have suffered heavy defeats to Pakistan and New Zealand in the T20 World Cup

Virat Kohli said India “were not brave enough” as they tumbled to an eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand in the T20 World Cup which left semi-final qualification out of their hands.

India, the pre-tournament favourites, were restricted to 110-7 in Dubai before the Black Caps trumped that total with 33 balls remaining to inflict a second straight loss on Kohli’s side, who suffered a 10-wicket hammering to Pakistan at the same venue a week ago.

India will now probably need to win all three of their remaining matches, starting against Afghanistan on Wednesday, to stand a chance of advancing to the last four in the UAE.

India vs Afghanistan

November 3, 2021, 1:30pm

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Kohli said after the New Zealand defeat: “It was quite bizarre. Being honest, being brutal, I don’t think we were brave enough with bat or ball. With the ball we obviously didn’t have much to play with.

“We were not brave enough with our body language when we entered the field. New Zealand had better body language, better intensity.”

New Zealand seamer Trent Boult (3-20) conceded just one run from the first over, while India managed just 10 boundaries in their innings.

Kohli added: “New Zealand created pressure on us from the first over onwards and continued that through the innings. Every time we felt like we wanted to take a chance we lost a wicket.

“That happens in T20 cricket but it is most often as a result of that little bit of hesitation with the bat when you feel like, ‘should I go for the shot or not?’

“When you play for the Indian cricket team you have a lot of expectation, everyone knows that.

“Not only from the fans but from the players themselves. There is always more [pressure] with our games, that has always been the case.

“We have embraced it over the years and everyone who plays for the Indian cricket team has to embrace it and learn how to cope with it.

“When you cope with it as a team, you are able to cope with that pressure – and we haven’t done that in these two games, which is why we haven’t won.

“There is only one way to play in T20 cricket – you have to be optimistic, positive, take calculated risks. That’s what this format is all about.

“Just because you are the Indian cricket team and there are expectations on you doesn’t mean you start playing the format differently.

“I think we have to disconnect from that a little bit and just back ourselves and take pride in performing for the team. As long as individuals are looking to do that, I think we will be fine.

“There is a lot of cricket to play in this tournament and that is something we all must look forward to and go out with a positive frame of mind.”

Watch India take on Afghanistan, in Abu Dhabi, live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event from 1.30pm on Wednesday.





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