Virat Kohli was highly disappointed after India's eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand on Sunday, and stated that the players were not brave enough with bat and ball. Having now lost each of their first two Super 12s games at the T20 World Cup 2021, India's semi-final hopes have taken a major dent.
After being asked to bat first, India were restricted to 110/7 courtesy of a brilliant bowling performance from the New Zealand bowlers. Trent Boult led the way with 3/20 from four overs, whereas Ish Sodhi returned 2/17. Ishan Kishan, who replaced unfit Suryakumar Yadav was promoted to the opening role, but was removed by Boult in the third over. KL Rahul (18), Rohit Sharma (14), and Virat Kohli (9) could not contribute much, with Hardik Pandya (23) and Ravindra Jadeja (26) being the only two batsmen to cross 20.
In reply, Martin Guptill (20) and Daryl Mitchell partnered for a 24-run stand for the opening wicket before the former fell to Jasprit Bumrah in the fourth over. However, Mitchell stood solid at one end and struck four boundaries and three sixes to notch up a 35-ball 49, before falling to Bumrah. Kane Williamson scored an unbeaten 33 to hand India a second consecutive defeat in the Super 12s stage. With the defeat, India’s semi-final hopes now look thin, after they had lost their opening fixture against Pakistan last week.
Reflecting on the performance, Kohli stated that the team were not brave enough with the bat and ball.
"Quite bizarre. I don't think we were brave enough with bat or ball," Kohli said after the match. "Didn't have much to defend but we weren't brave when we walked out to field. When you play for the Indian cricket team you have a lot of expectations - not just from fans, but players as well. 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."
India will next face Afghanistan on Wednesday, November 3 in Abu Dhabi.