Dubai, Oct 25 – India skipper Virat Kohli did concede after the 10-wicket thrashing at the hands of Pakistan in an ICC T20 World Cup ‘Super 12’ game here that the “high-intensity” Indian Premier League 2021, which concluded here recently, did take a toll on the players and the week-long break before the next game will do his side a world of good.

Compared to the enthusiasm shown by the Indian players for their respective IPL franchises recently, Virat’s boys looked jaded and listless as they went about their opening match against the arch-rivals nowhere near their best, with their express pace bowlers barely managing military medium, compared to the likes of Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf who bowled their hearts out on Sunday night.

Asked, how does he see the week-long gap between the opening ‘Super 12’ game against Pakistan and the next assignment against New Zealand on October 31, Kohli said during the post-match press conference that, “I think it works really well for us from all point of views. Knowing that we have played a full-fledged season already, we played the IPL, which is very high octane by itself in testing conditions here in the UAE, and then we come into the World Cup. So for us these big breaks are definitely something that’s going to help us as a team to be in the prime physical condition that we need to be to play this high-intensity tournament.

“T20 World Cup is always a high-intensity tournament, and it will help us, again, to regroup as a team to get to the practice sessions eager to execute the things that we want to, prepare in a very confident manner and then arrive on the day again to make sure that this time we execute our plans, and we have enough confidence in our ability that with this preparation time, we’ll come out once again being in a positive frame of mind. For us as a team personally I can say it’s a good thing that’s happening. We’ll have time to reflect and to prepare again,” added Kohli, who will be stepping down as T20 captain after the World T20 assignment.

Losing the toss, Kohli said, was crucial as the team batting second got a little more advantage, with the dew making it easy for the Pakistan batters to rotate strike.

Expressing his frustration with the conditions, Kohli said, “The more dew came in towards the second half of the Pakistan innings, 10 overs onwards, and the wicket will rotate strike. We could not even get dot balls in because the pitch was obviously providing a big pace for the batsman to work with. The slower balls were not holding up as much.

“These small little factors, as I said, it did make a massive difference, and as a team you need to understand what was the reality of the situation out there in the middle, and that’s where those 20, 25 extra runs would have been good, but brilliant bowling in the first six (overs by Pakistan) did not allow us to get those extra runs.”

India captain Virat Kohli believes that his team has an exact idea of where the opening match against Pakistan went and where it went wrong for them. He added that brilliant bowling by Pakistan in the first six overs meant that India couldn’t get the extra 20-25 runs. In their opening match of the ICC men’s T20 World Cup. India were handed a ten-wicket drubbing by Pakistan at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

“As a team, we need to understand that what was the reality of the situation out there in the middle. That’s where those 20-25 extra runs would have been good. But brilliant bowling in the first six, did not allow us to get those extra runs. We know exactly how the game went and where it went wrong. We have absolute clarity of it, which is a good thing to know about where you went wrong as a team,” said Kohli in the post-match press conference on Sunday.

“So, you can work and try to correct it and move forward because we still have lot more matches in this tournament. If we stick to the processes we follow, we can definitely feel like we can work on these mistakes,” added Kohli.

Explaining how the match panned out, especially after dew came into the picture during Pakistan’s chase, Kohli said, “If the pitch becomes little better to bat on, you get off to a start. Then you start feeling more confident about the chase. That’s what happened. The more dew came towards the second half of Pakistan’s innings onwards and they were able to rotate strike.”

“We could not get even dot balls in because the pitch was providing a bit more pace to the batters to work with. The slower balls were not holding up as much. These small little factors, as I said, make a massive difference. Toss definitely is going to be a factor in this tournament, especially if dew keeps creeping in the latter half of the game. You then need those extra runs in the first half.”

Talking about Shaheen Shah Afridi’s opening burst, which set up Pakistan’s win, Kohli was in praise of the young left-arm seamer. “He did bowl very well with the new ball. I think he hit the right areas to pick up wickets, and in T20 cricket you need good execution to pick up wickets with the new ball, and certainly, he did that, so credit to him. He put our batsmen under pressure immediately with the new ball, and he ran in with intensity and showed that he’s bowling in consistent areas.”

“So, as batsmen, you are forced to be a bit watchful, and yeah, that spell kind of put us on the back foot immediately, and from there on to get those extra 20, 25 runs, in the end, seemed pretty difficult when you lose three wickets for 20 runs,” concluded Kohli.

Kohli credited Pakistan for outclassing his team in the opening match of the tournament in all departments, saying that his team tried its best to put them under pressure. “They definitely outplayed us. There is no doubt about that. You don’t win by ten wickets if you don’t outplay the opposition. We did not even get any chances. They were very professional. You definitely have to give them credit. We tried our best. We tried to create enough pressure on them. But they had the answers. There is no shame in accepting that one team played better than you.”

“As I said, when you step onto the field, which has eleven players from each side, you have an equal opportunity to win the game. There are no guarantees that you go out there and win every match. But having said that, you also don’t go out there being casual. So, we tried our best. We made a decent total out of a tough situation we thought we could put them under pressure. But they did not let us come into the game at any stage. They deserve the credit for finishing the game very strongly and not allowing us to put any pressure on them throughout the innings.”

India’s next match in the tournament is against New Zealand on October 31 in Dubai.

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There were more fireworks and fiery comments in Virat Kohli’s post-match press conference than there were from the Indian side during their ICC T20 World Cup ‘Super 12′ match against Pakistan, which the 2007 champions lost by 10 wickets.

Rattled by the crushing defeat — caused mainly due to the lack of application on the part of the Indian bowlers who kept bowling lollipops to the likes of Babar Azam (68 not out) and Mohammad Rizwan (79 not out), and the top order which seemed to have forgotten to bat — Kohli’s comments after the game bordered on sarcasm, indicating he was truly stumped by the loss.

Asked if it was “overconfidence against Pakistan” that led to the crushing defeat, Kohli said that he wished people asking such questions could be in the Indian cricketers’ shoes and understand what pressure is. Before, Sunday’s game, India had never lost an ICC T20 World Cup game to their arch-rivals, but Azam and Rizwan broke that jinx, with a 152-run stand achieved in 17.5 overs.

“You know, it’s amazing what the realities and what ideas people have on the outside. I just wish they could put on our cricket kit and actually walk into the field and understand what pressure is. You don’t go out there to take anything lightly, especially a team like Pakistan who on their day can beat anyone in the world. This is a game that has to be respected, and we are a team that definitely respects the game, and we do not think that winning one game is the end of the world, and no other team should think that,” said Kohli.

“This is a very big game. Cricket is beyond and above anyone else, any individual, and we definitely respect the game. We never take any opposition lightly; neither do we differentiate between oppositions. That’s how we play our cricket.

“On the day if we haven’t played good, we accept it and we give credit to the opposition, as well. We don’t create any other scenarios other than knowing what went wrong and trying to correct that and move forward in a positive manner,” the India skipper added.

On whether young Ishan Kishan could have been given the opportunity to play in the game ahead of Rohit Sharma, given that the former had done “very well in the warmup matches”, Kohli put the question back into the reporter’s court, saying, “It’s a very brave question. What do you think, sir? I played the team that I thought was the best. What is your opinion? Will you drop Rohit Sharma from T20 internationals? You’ll drop Rohit Sharma? Do you know what he did in the last game that we played? Yeah? Unbelievable. If you want control, please tell me before so I can answer accordingly,” retorted Kohli.

There were more fireworks and fiery comments in Virat Kohli’s post-match press conference than there were from the Indian side during their ICC T20 World Cup ‘Super 12′ match against Pakistan, which the 2007 champions lost by 10 wickets.

Rattled by the crushing defeat — caused mainly due to the lack of application on the part of the Indian bowlers who kept bowling lollipops to the likes of Babar Azam (68 not out) and Mohammad Rizwan (79 not out), and the top order which seemed to have forgotten to bat — Kohli’s comments after the game bordered on sarcasm, indicating he was truly stumped by the loss.

Asked if it was “overconfidence against Pakistan” that led to the crushing defeat, Kohli said that he wished people asking such questions could be in the Indian cricketers’ shoes and understand what pressure is. Before, Sunday’s game, India had never lost an ICC T20 World Cup game to their arch-rivals, but Azam and Rizwan broke that jinx, with a 152-run stand achieved in 17.5 overs.

“You know, it’s amazing what the realities and what ideas people have on the outside. I just wish they could put on our cricket kit and actually walk into the field and understand what pressure is. You don’t go out there to take anything lightly, especially a team like Pakistan who on their day can beat anyone in the world. This is a game that has to be respected, and we are a team that definitely respects the game, and we do not think that winning one game is the end of the world, and no other team should think that,” said Kohli.

“This is a very big game. Cricket is beyond and above anyone else, any individual, and we definitely respect the game. We never take any opposition lightly; neither do we differentiate between oppositions. That’s how we play our cricket.

“On the day if we haven’t played good, we accept it and we give credit to the opposition, as well. We don’t create any other scenarios other than knowing what went wrong and trying to correct that and move forward in a positive manner,” the India skipper added.

On whether young Ishan Kishan could have been given the opportunity to play in the game ahead of Rohit Sharma, given that the former had done “very well in the warmup matches”, Kohli put the question back into the reporter’s court, saying, “It’s a very brave question. What do you think, sir? I played the team that I thought was the best. What is your opinion? Will you drop Rohit Sharma from T20 internationals? You’ll drop Rohit Sharma? Do you know what he did in the last game that we played? Yeah? Unbelievable. If you want control, please tell me before so I can answer accordingly,” retorted Kohli.

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