Cricket World Cup 2019: Kohli blames 45 minutes of poor cricket after India's semi-final loss

Sudhir Gupta 11/07/2019
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World Cup disappointment for Kohli and India.

India skipper Virat Kohli lamented 45 minutes of poor cricket by his side after they were knocked out by New Zealand in a thrilling 2019 ICC World Cup semi-final at Manchester on Wednesday.

India were set a target of 240 runs by the Kiwis but a horror start by the top-order cost the team dear before they ultimately fell to a 18-run defeat. The Men in Blue quickly found themselves reeling at 5-3 in the chase with the openers and Kohli falling cheaply to New Zealand’s pacers.

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja raised India’s hopes with a defiant 77 off 59 deliveries but it proved to be too tall an order in the end as New Zealand booked their second World up final appearance on the trot.

“The game pretty much changed in those first 40 minutes when we were batting,” Kohli said after the loss.

“The pressure created was immense in those first 40, 45 minutes. And when you lose 3 for 5 it is very difficult to come back into the game.”

The India skipper stated that the loss to the Kiwis was a bitter pill to swallow for his team who had topped the round-robin phase with just one loss in eight games.

“Of course, very disappointed to just go out on the basis of 45 minutes of bad cricket is saddening and it breaks your heart also, because you have worked so hard throughout the tournament to build momentum,” said Kohli.

“You finish No. 1 in the table and then a spell of bad cricket and then you are out of the tournament completely. But you have to accept it.

“We are sad, but we are not, you know, devastated because of the kind of cricket that we played in this tournament. We know where we stood as a team and today we were not good enough and that is the nature of this tournament. A bad day in the knockout stage and you are out of the tournament.”

Meanwhile, Kohli’s poor form in World Cup knock-out clashes continued on Wednesday with the right-hander perishing for just one run to Trent Boult. The India superstar had been dismissed for scores of nine and one in the 2011 and 2015 World Cup semi-finals previously.

The 29-year-old’s frustration with the dismissal was clear to see as he flung his bat into the air following an unsuccessful review of the lbw decision.

“It is very disappointing not turning up when the team wanted me to. Obviously, it feels bad. Everyone gets disappointed when they get out so it was a natural reaction,” rued Kohli.

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CWC 2019: Virat Kohli's woeful record in knockout matches continues with poor show against New Zealand

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Virat Kohli

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.

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.

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CWC 2019: Trent Boult hopes to face Australia in final as NZ pace ace seeks 2015 revenge

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Trent Boult.

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.

“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.”

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