New Delhi: After India’s maiden loss to Pakistan by 10 wickets in the Super-12 stage of the T20 World Cup 2021 on Sunday at Dubai International cricket stadium, Indian captain Virat Kohli had to answer some difficult questions in the post-match press conference. With the country disappointed by the first-ever loss against Pakistan that too without getting any wicket, one of the media persons put forth a question of Rohit Sharma’s place in the playing XI.
Virat Kohli was baffled by the query and reciprocated by questioning the media person, “Will you drop Rohit Sharma from T20Is?”
“It is a very brave question, what do you think sir?,” asked Kohli, before adding,” Because I played the XI I thought was the best. What do you think? What is your opinion? You will drop Rohit Sharma from T20 internationals? Do you know what he did in the last game?”
The skipper did not stop there and with a wry smile went on to say, “Unbelievable. Sir, if you want controversy, tell me before so that I can answer accordingly.”
Ishan Kishan, Sharma’s Mumbai Indians’ teammate, did not find a place in the XI and one of the questions was on whether the former India U19 skipper could find a place at the top of the order at the expense of Sharma
He also said in the post-match presentation ceremony that he had no qualms in admitting that his team was “outplayed” by Pakistan in the ICC T20 World Cup here but said his players are not the ones to press the panic button.
Kohli said that he accepts the defeat and will take the learnings from it but made it clear that he has treated all opposition with equal respect.
“Cricket is beyond and above anyone else and we definitely respect the game and we never take any opposition lightly and neither do we differentiate between opposition.
“On the day, if we haven’t played good, we accept it and give credit to opposition as well. We don’t create any other scenarios of knowing what went wrong and correct that move forward in a positive manner,” he said.
Mohammed Rizwan and Babar Azam both scored half-centuries on way to an unbeaten 152 run partnership. India failed to take a single wicket in the Pakistan innings. India put on 151 on the board after Babar Azam won the toss and chose to bowl. Kohli top-scored with 57 in 48 balls. Rishabh Pant played a vital inning of 39 in 30 balls.
Kohli was all praise for the young fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi, who rocked the Indian top-order by getting the wickets of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and later skipper Kohli in his second spell.
“He did bowl really well with the new ball and hit right areas to pick up wickets. In T20 cricket, its about execution to pick up wickets with new ball and he certainly did that and so credit to him.
Pakistan recorded their biggest T20 International win, hammering India by 10 wickets in their opening T20 World Cup match, which was also their first against the neighbours in 13 attempts at the global meet.
For the first time ever, India lost a T20I by 10 wickets and Pakistan won a T20I by 10 wickets. The unbeaten 152-run partnership between Azam and Rizwan is the highest partnership for Pakistan against India for any wicket in T20Is.
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