India came into ICC Men’s T20 World Cup game against Pakistan with a 12-0 unbeaten record against their rivals in T20 and 50-over World Cups, but Babar Azam and Co broke the jinx on Sunday in some style to win by 10 wickets at the Dubai International Stadium.
Speaking after the match, India Kohli dismissed suggestions that India were over-confident heading into the match.
“You don’t go out there to take anything lightly, especially when play a team like Pakistan who on their day can beat anyone in the world,” said Kohli.
“They were very professional. You have to give them credit, we tried out best. We tried to create enough pressure but they had the answers. No shame in accepting that a team played better than you.”
Kohli was not impressed by a suggestion that Ishan Kishan could have been selected instead of Rohit Sharma after India’s T20 World Cup defeat against Pakistan.
He went on to add that the team will benefit from the week’s break before taking on New Zealand next and was confident of bouncing back by trusting their process.
Watch the video of the press conference below, followed by excerpts from the interaction:
Can you talk about Shaheen Afridi’s spell? You survived that, but in the end probably that kept India’s run short on the total.
Yeah, 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.
Regarding the selection of the team, many people they were talking about the selection of Ishan Kishan; he has played very well in the warmup matches. Do you think that some mistake Ishan Kishan if he could play and then he can do better than Rohit Sharma?
It’s a very brave question. What do you think, sir?
I’m asking you, sir.
I played the team that I thought was the best. What is your opinion?
No, I’m just asking you –
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 controversy, please tell me before so I can answer accordingly.
I wanted to ask you, was India a bit overconfident against Pakistan because obviously India has been winning across the ICC events. Was it like India was not more concentrated on the Pakistan match and they were concentrating on the other matches that were coming up?
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.
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.
Did Pakistan outclass India in bowling unit or in batting? If in batting, did you expect that Pakistan will chase and win by 10 wickets? Did you ever expect?
They definitely outplayed us. There is no doubt about that. You don’t win by 10 wickets if you don’t outplay the opposition. We did not even get any chances. They were very professional.
Look, you definitely have to give them credit. We tried our best. We tried to create enough pressure on them, but they had the answers, and there is no shame in accepting that a team played better than you.
As I said, when you step on to the field as 11 players from either side, you have an equal opportunity to win the game, and there’s no guarantees that you’re going to 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 our situation we thought, and we thought we could put them under pressure, but they did not let us come into the game at any stage. They definitely deserve the credit for finishing off the game very strongly and not allowing us to put any pressure on them through the innings.
Can you just talk about the change in conditions as the game progressed? Was it too lopsided for batters in the latter half? And perhaps too early, but can we have some sort of an update on Hardik’s latest?
Yes, again, it’s a few things. I won’t say that it became very, very difficult, but if the pitch becomes a little better to bat on and you get off to a start, then you start feeling more confident about the chase. That’s what happened. 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 did not allow us to get those extra runs.
We know exactly how the game went and where it went wrong, and we have absolute clarity of that, and that’s a good thing to know, where we went wrong as a team, so that we can work on it and try to correct it and move forward because we still have a lot of matches in this tournament.
If we stick to the processes we follow, we definitely feel like we can overcome these mistakes, but yes, toss definitely is going to be a factor in this tournament especially. If the dew keeps creeping in in the later half the game, you need those extra runs in the first half then.
There’s a long gap before you play the next game. How do you see this long gap when you’re playing a high-octane tournament like this and then you played a match like this, Pakistan, which is very emotionally charged, and then after this defeat there will be players who will be eager to get on to the field. How do you see this gap, and given the fact that you people have been on the road for so many months, also, we have spoken about the scheduling, as well. How do you see this gap and how do you want to work during this time?
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.
This was the first time the Indian cricket team took a knee before a cricket game. I just wanted to know, when did you decide that you guys were taking the knee and what made you decide to do that?
That was communicated to us by the management. The Pakistan team agreed to pay their tribute towards the same cause, and then we accepted our side of things, as well. Yeah, that’s how it was decided.
Video and transcript courtesy: ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC 2020 via Online Media Zone.