Is Virat Kohli Hiding Behind “45 Minutes of Bad Cricket”?

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Indian skipper, Virat Kohli admitted that ’45 minutes of bad cricket’ cost them the match against New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 semifinals on Wednesday.

However, is it just 45 minutes of bad cricket which put India out of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 or it is something more than it?

In the post-match press conference, Virat Kohli said, “It’s tough, 45 minutes of bad cricket put you out of the tournament. It’s hard to come to terms with but New Zealand deserve it, they put us under pressure and came through in the key moments”

Virat Kohli

India certainly played substandard cricket in the first 10 overs with the top three batsmen getting out in the first four overs itself. It was the first time since 2010 when the opening three batsmen of team India got out in the first four overs.

However, India could still have controlled the match while chasing a low score of 240 runs but the middle-order couldn’t rescue their team from the massacre.

The last time when Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma got dismissed for a single figure score was in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 finals when India was defeated by Pakistan.

 

India’s middle order was finally exploited as they couldn’t diffuse the pressure with India crashing to an unexpected 18-run defeat against the Blackcaps. The team’s over-dependence on Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to give them kick start to their innings could be one of the reasons why the middle order couldn’t perform under pressure.

Rishabh Pant

The experience was certainly missing in the middle order as set batsmen like Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya failed to convert their start into big scores due to poor shot selection. Promoting MS Dhoni up in the batting order could have had brought some experience during the middle overs.

Also, the problem of the no. 4 position in India’s batting order could not be solved after trying different batsmen in that position for the past year.

MS Dhoni

It was certainly a failure on the sectors and team management’s part that they could not fix a suitable batsman for the no. 4 positions till the end of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The playing XI did not perform as a team unlike New Zealand,  which was certainly one of the biggest reasons for their defeat.

Sachin Tendulkar also suggested that the batting lineup of team India is certainly dependent in Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

He said, “Not just for Virat and Rohit, we have got 15 members in the squad along with the support staff. They have been working constantly behind the scenes. Everyone will be equally disappointed. As an India, it is disappointing and heartbreaking.”