Virat Kohli’s disappointing record in a World Cup semi-final game continued after the Indian skipper was dismissed by New Zealand seamer Trent Boult for just one run.
Kohli is considered one of the finest batsmen of all time and arguably the best-ever batsman in ODI cricket. In a career spanning 236 ODI games, the 30-year-old has managed to score 11268 runs at a superb average of 59.40. The strike-rate of 93.00 shows that the runs have come at a healthy rate.
Firstly I want to thank all our fans who came in huge numbers to support the team. You made it a memorable tournament for all of us & we definitely felt the love showered upon the team. We are all disappointed & share the same emotions as you. We gave everything we had.Jai hind🇮🇳 https://t.co/rFwxiUdqK5— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) July 10, 2019
However, failure to stage an inspiring performance in a big game sticks out like a sore thumb. The skipper’s scores in the last three World Cup semi-finals games read 9, 1 and 1.
Kohli scored nine runs from 21 balls against Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup semi-final. But his poor show went under the radar after India went on to win the trophy.
In the 2015, he fell prey to Mitchell Johnson’s pace by edging the ball to wicket-keeper Brad Haddin, who made no mistake. On Wednesday, Boult claimed the prized wicket via an lbw that stood the test of India’s review.
Kohli’s current average in 15 quarter-finals, semi-finals or finals is just 29.33. Although this could read well for an average player, for a batsman of his quality, Kohli should be doing better.
The sample space is small, but the record does come as a concern. Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting averaged 52.84 and 39.76 in knockout games.
Kohli will find that there is a lot of work to be done on this aspect of his game.
Trent Boult is out for revenge after New Zealand booked their spot in the World Cup final, hoping Australia can join them at Lord’s this Sunday.
New Zealand won a legion of admirers as they reached the showcase for the first time in 2015, only for fellow co-hosts Australia to burst their bubble as they prevailed by a wide seven-wicket margin in Melbourne.
The Black Caps will have the opportunity to go all the way again after beating India by 18 runs at Old Trafford on the reserve day of their semi-final.
Boult knows who he would prefer to win the other last four showdown between Australia and England at Edgbaston on Thursday.
The left-arm seamer said: “I think Australia pumped us in 2015 in the final so it would be nice to (play them) again. But two quality sides are going to play, we’ll be watching with interest.
Back to back World Cup Finals by @BLACKCAPS !!!! A country of just a tick over 5 million ... a David and Goliath story if there ever was one! Well done @scottbstyris and @CoachHesson .. we dip our lid! 👏🏻👏🏻— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) July 10, 2019
“We’re just more excited about being on the stage; Lord’s, Cricket World Cup final, it doesn’t get bigger than that in my opinion. Whoever it is we’re definitely looking forward to it.”
The Kiwis lost to both Australia and England in the group stage but Boult added: “If we do the things well that we know we can do, especially with the ball, I think we’re good enough to beat anyone on the day.”
New Zealand swelled an overnight score of 211 for five, held over to Wednesday morning because of persistent rain on Tuesday afternoon, to 239 for eight, Ross Taylor top-scoring with 74 from 90 balls.
India lurched to 24-4 after 10 overs in response, Matt Henry and Boult starring in a devastating display of new-ball bowling.
Boult claimed the wicket of star man Virat Kohli and the left-arm seamer later returned to the attack to snare Ravindra Jadeja, whose swashbuckling 77 off 59 balls had given India hope before they subsided to 221 all out.
Boult added: “It was mayhem out there, a little bit, with the new ball. Matt bowled extremely well, it was a dream start for us.
“We’re always trying to get sides two or three down inside that first 10 overs. I saw five for three at one point, it was great fun.
“They absorbed that pressure nicely, Dhoni and Jadeja, anything can happen with those guys at the crease. It turned out to be a very close game but nice to come out on the right side.”
India captain Virat Kohli said a poor 10 overs against New Zealand undid all the hard work put in by his team in the 2019 World Cup as the Kiwis edged home by 18 runs to seal their spot in the final on Wednesday.
India were reduced to 5-3 and then 24-4 as they chased 240 before a brilliant fightback from Ravindra Jadeja (77) and MS Dhoni (50) took them close to an improbable win before the Kiwis held on to victory.
Kohli said the horror start ensured India was always behind the game.
“It always feels disappointing when you’ve played such good cricket and then 45 minutes of bad cricket puts you out of the tournament,” Kohli said after the match.
“It is difficult to accept, it’s difficult to come to terms with. New Zealand deserve it because they put enough pressure on us and they were far sharper when it came to crunch moments.”
The match was played across two days and New Zealand posted 239-8 after a fine 74 from Ross Taylor and 67 from skipper Kane Williamson.
The Kiwis were lucky to make it to the semis despite losing their last three matches in the league stage heavily. But in overcast conditions on the second day of the semi-final, their pacers knocked the wind out of India’s top order to secure their entry into the second straight final.
Kohli said his team competed well in the match but the opening spell by the Kiwis is what changed the game.
“I think the first half, we were very, very good with the ball. In the field we were spot on,” Kohli said. “We thought we had restricted New Zealand to a total which was quite chaseable on any surface. But, the way they came out and bowled in that first half an hour really was the difference in the game.
“We knew that we had a good day yesterday and we were very proud of that effort. And then a very professional effort again with the ball this morning. But the credit has to go to the New Zealand bowlers because with the new ball they were outstanding with the areas that they hit, and the kind of swing that they got on the surface.”