DUBAI: After losing to back-to-back matches against Pakistan and New Zealand, Indian skipper Virat Kohli admitted that pressure overwhelmed the Men in Blue.
Speaking during the post-match presentation following India’s defeat in the crucial match against the Kiwis, Virat Kohli said that when the team plays, everyone have high expectations from the Men in Blue, from the fans to the players themselves.
He admitted that the players couldn’t cope with that pressure during the last two matches in the T20 World Cup.
“Wherever we play, we are watched, people come to the stadiums to support us, so there’s always going to be more with our games, that’s always been the case, and we’ve embraced it over the years, and everyone who plays for the Indian team obviously has to embrace that as well, and learn how to cope with it.
“And when you cope with that as a team, you tend to overcome that pressure and those tough situations. And we haven’t, in these two games, and that’s why we haven’t won.”
A visibly shaken Virat Kohli, whose team’s future in the ICC tournament now depends on how other teams perform, said that they were not “brave enough” in today’s match against the Kiwis.
“Quite bizarre. To be very honest and brutal up front, I don’t think we were brave enough with bat or ball,” he said.
“With the ball, I mean, obviously we didn’t have much to play with, but we were just not brave enough with our body language when we entered the field, and New Zealand had better intensity, better body language, and they created pressure on us from the first over onwards, really, and continued that through the innings.
“Every time we felt like we want to take a chance [while batting], we lost a wicket. That happens in T20 cricket, but that’s most probably or most often the result of that little bit of hesitation with the bat, when you feel like should you go for the shot or not.”
The Indian skipper added that there’s only one way to play T20 cricket, and that is to be optimistic, positive, and take calculated risks.
“Just because you’re the Indian cricket team and there’s expectations, doesn’t mean that you start playing the format differently.
“So I think you have to disconnect from that a little bit and just back ourselves out there and take pride in performing for the team. As long as individuals are looking to do that, I think we’ll be fine. There’s a lot of cricket to play in this tournament, something that we all must look forward to, and certainly the team must look forward to, and go out with a positive frame of mind.”