MANCHESTER: Indian captain Virat Kohli admitted India had paid the price for “45 minutes of bad cricket” as the heart-broken skipper surveyed the wreckage of his side’s stunning World Cup exit.
Kohli’s team crashed to an unexpected 18-run defeat against New Zealand in the semi-finals at Old Trafford on Wednesday. Needing just 240 to reach Sunday’s final, two-time champions India were undone by a dismal start to their run chase.
Unable to cope with the pace bowling of Matt Henry and Trent Boult, India were reduced to 5-3, 24-4 and 92-6 before their Ravindra Jadeja-inspired late revival set up a tense finale that ultimately fell short.
Kohli was one of the India stars to flop as he was dismissed for one alongside Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, who also only managed a single each. “We’ve played outstanding cricket throughout this tournament. To just go out on the basis of 45 minutes of bad cricket is saddening,” Kohli told reporters.
“It breaks your heart also, because you worked so hard throughout the tournament to build momentum, you finish number one in the table, and then a spell of bad cricket and you’re out of the tournament. “New Zealand deserves a lot of credit because they really put up a great display of how to bowl with the new ball. They hit perfect line and length and forced us to make errors.”
Kohli felt India had taken a huge step towards the final when they restricted New Zealand to 239-8 at the conclusion of the Black Caps’ rain-interrupted 50 overs — with the match carried over from Tuesday due to the bad weather.