‘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.’
IMAGE: ‘We didn’t have much to defend but we weren’t brave when we walked out to field’. Photograph: T20 World Cup/Twitter
Virat Kohli said that his team need to disconnect from the pressure and continue with the process after New Zealand thrashed India by 8 wickets in the Group 2 match of Super 12 stage of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup here at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
Set a modest target of 111 to win the Group 2 fixture, Kiwi opener Daryl Mitchell top-scored in a comfortable chase, hitting a quickfire 49 as his side chased down the total with 33 balls to spare. The result means that India will need other games to go their way if they are to reach the semi-finals.
“I thought we were brutal upfront. We weren’t brave enough when we entered the field, but New Zealand sustained that pressure. 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.
“I don’t think we were brave enough with bat or ball. We were not brave enough with our body language. We didn’t have much to defend but we weren’t brave when we walked out to field,” Kohli said in the post-match presentation.
India were restricted to a below-par 110 for seven after being sent in to bat with the likes of Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner sharing the spoils with the ball.
Asked about the weight of expectations on the team, Kohli said, “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.
“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.”
“Just because you’re the Indian team and there are expectations doesn’t mean you start playing differently.
“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. I think we’re fine, there’s a lot of cricket to play in the tournament,” 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, Scotland on November 5 and Namibia on November 8, which will wind up the league stage of the T20 showpiece.