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.