Indian captain Virat Kohli has praised the Pakistan for their all-round performance and also admitted that his team failed to meet the heavy expectations on them. Kohli also had words of praise for Hardik Pandya who provided a glimmer of hope with his big-hitting after the batsmen had failed.
In the final of the ICC Champions Trophy, Pakistan posted a huge total of 338 after being asked to bat first by Indian captain Virat Kohli. But defending champion India could only manage 158 runs. Kohli admitted that the Pakistan team did far better and control their nerves in a high-voltage encounter.
He said in the post-match conference, “I think everyone desires composure, not just me but the players, as well, individually, and everyone wants to go out there and do well. No one goes out there to throw their wicket away or get out. We give our best every time we go out on the field, and I'm really proud of the way the team has played in this tournament.
The cricket is played between two teams. There's no one team on the box, so you have to accept losses, you have to accept that the other team has outplayed you and they've shown better skill than you, they've shown better composure in pressure situations than you.
Yes, we have shown the composure in pressure situations most often in this tournament, but that is no guarantee that you're going to do it every time. Obviously, your best effort is to try and do it every time, but cricket is not about doing well in every game that you play. You will have failures, and one team has to lose on the day, and today was our day to lose because the opposition played much better than us.”
The Indian cricket team lost wickets in clusters and Mohammad Amir’s three for 16 gave Pakistan the start they wanted. During chasing the target, the Indian batsmen failed to create a decent partnership, only Pandya and Jadeja putting 80 runs together.
Kohli said, “Early wickets are never good, especially in a chase. Then we kept losing wickets. One big partnership would have been the key to set it up nicely, but as I said, credit to the opposition. They've also come to express their skill and win a cricket game, and they certainly did. They had to own their win. They made us make those mistakes because of the way they were bowling and the way they applied the pressure in the field, as well, and we have no hesitations or shame to admit that we could not play our best game today.”
Hardik Pandya finally showed his capability - something his captain had been speaking about throughout the tournament. Pandya bowled economically and gave 53 runs in 10 overs and was the one who finally got centurion Fakhar Zaman’s wicket. During India’s innings, he showed his value with his bat also after India lost their 6 wickets for just 72 runs. A confident Pandya completed his half-century off 32 balls and gave some hope to Indian supporters before a terrible mix-up with Ravindra Jadeja sent him back to the dressing room.
Kohli was full of praise for the all-rounder and said, “The way he batted today and the way he bowled and the way he fielded, that's exactly why we back him, because he can be the match winner for us in situations where the team is in trouble. I mean, today was a bit too far-fetched because we knew one more wicket and it will keep getting tougher. But yeah, when he was striking it well, I think he also felt and everyone in the changing room felt that if he can go on for a bit more, then things could become interesting, but yeah, unfortunately, that didn't happen.”
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