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T20 World Cup: Kohli blasts team for not being brave enough

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Dubai, Oct 31 (IANS) India skipper Virat Kohli took his teammates to task for not being brave enough in defending their paltry total of 110/7 against New Zealand in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Dubai Cricket Stadium here on Sunday.

India batted poorly, lost wickets early, and never recovered as they could manage only a meagre 110 after being asked to bat first by New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson. They could not claim early wickets as Daryl Mitchell (49 off 35 balls) and Kane Williamson (33 not out off 31 balls) led New Zealand to an eight-wicket victory on Sunday.

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But a disappointed Kohli said they did neither bat well nor bowl well in the match. “I don’t think we were brave enough with bat or ball. Didn’t have much to defend but we weren’t brave when we walked out to the field,” said Kohli at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“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.

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“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,” said Kohli.

However, the Indian skipper was confident that it is not all over for India and they still have their chances.

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“I think we’re fine, there’s a lot of cricket left to play,” he said.

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson praised his team for a fantastic all-round performance.

“There’s always planning going into games. But a fantastic all-round performance from us against a formidable India side. We were able to build pressure throughout and the way the openers came out really set the platform,” he said.

The New Zealand skipper said the balance in his bowling unit was the reason for their success.

“The balance of our attack has two spinners in it, I think the collective unit was impressive, the way they kept passing the baton. We saw some very good signs in our first match as well and we built on that.”

He praised Ish Sodhi for his performance on Sunday. “Ish is an outstanding T20 bowler, white-ball bowler in particular. He’s been a big part and played in a number of comcpetitions, and in these conditions, spin will play a part,” Williamson said on Sunday.

–IANS

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