Advertisement

ICC World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli urges Team India to up the ante going into the main round

The Indian skipper had words of praises for Jadeja, Pandya and Dhoni as well.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Team India didn’t quite make the greatest of starts in the World Cup 2019 as the Virat Kohli-captained unit lost to New Zealand by six wickets in their first warm-up match at the Kennington Oval in London. Only a few things went right for the Men in Blue after they elected to bat first on a green pitch. Trent Boult picked up three early wickets following which Colin de Grandhomme accounted for Kohli’s prized scalp.

The Indian team couldn’t recover from the jolts and they were bowled out for 179 in 39.2 overs. During the run-chase, Martin Guptill and Colin Munro perished cheaply, but a well-crafted 114-run stand between Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor meant that the Black Caps cruised home with 77 balls to spare. Both batters got out eventually, but by then, the writing was already on the wall for the Indian team.

Advertisement

The pitch had a greenish tinge to it that made the leather jag around. Indian batsmen couldn’t handle the seam movement and succumbed to it. After the heavy defeat, Kohli wants his team to pull up its socks before the main round. He admitted that the track got easier for batting in the second innings while signifying the role of fielding in the tournament.

“It is (was) going to be very different in the second innings. The wicket didn’t have enough in the second innings. The fielders are going to have a crucial role. Those half-chances will count. We will have to be precise in every department,” Kohli said in the post-match press conference.

Praises for Dhoni, Hardik and Jadeja

Despite the loss, India had some positives from the encounter. Ravindra Jadeja churned out a half-century when the chips were down. Hardik Pandya, promoted to bat at number five, scored 30 with six boundaries. Even MS Dhoni tried his heart out to weather the storm, though he could only manage 17 off 42. Kohli praised all three of them.

He also understands the importance of lower order batting in a tournament like the World Cup. “Very good innings from (Ravindra) Jadeja. From 50 for 4 to get to 180 was a good effort. In a tournament like WC, the lower order has to score at times if the top-order gets out quickly. Hardik (Pandya) batted well, MS (Dhoni) absorbed the pressure well and Jadeja played well,” he added.

Advertisement