NEW DELHI: After delivering an extremely poor performance, the Indian Vice-Captain Virat Kohli who had to leave the crease with 1 run only (13 balls) on Thursday at the ICC cricket World Cup 2015 – Semi-Final, had to face massive criticism from his fans and followers. However, Indian Captain MS Dhoni left no stone unturned to defend his star players.
Addressing a press conference in Sydney after their defeat against Australia by 95 runs, Captain Cool was available for tough questions of the media.
On being quizzed, if Virat Kohli’s shot selection was reflective of the pressure on him, Dhoni batting strongly for the under-fire Kohli said, “Pehli baat yeh hai ki til ka taad nahin banate hain (Let's not make a mountain out of a mole hill). Let's accept the fact that he played a shot that didn't pay off. It happens and it happens to a lot of batsmen.”
He further added, “Once the opposition puts over 300 runs on the board and once they have quality bowlers, at some point of time you have to take that risk. If it pays off, if it clicks, all of a sudden everything changes. He played a shot, it didn’t pay off and that's it. I would say it happens in cricket.”
While Dhoni did accept that there were a few niggles as far as bowlers were concerned, but he clarified that it was not anything alarming.
“About fitness, a few of them (bowlers) had a few niggles, but the whole unit was 100 per cent fit. Fast bowlers had a bit of niggle, but nothing that really stops them from playing, so there were no fitness issues as such,” he said.
As the bowlers had shown magnificent results throughout the tournament, the Captain did not go harsh on them for their flop show on the day Semi-Final 2 was scheduled and said that they could have done ‘slightly better’.
“When we lost the toss, I was a bit worried as I thought maybe the spinners wouldn't get as much purchase. But I feel (Ravindra) Jadeja and (Ravichandran) Ashwin, both bowled well. There was possibility of reverse swing going, so I felt our fast bowlers could have slightly better as there wouldn't be much of a reverse swing. But once we came back into the game and restricted them to 328, I felt it was a good score. Yes, there was pressure, but at the same time it needed some good batting and good partnership, so it was a gettable score, but it needed some really hard work to get the runs on the board,” the skipper said.
With an imposing score of 329 to win, India was bundled out for 233 in 46.5 overs with Dhoni scoring the maximum runs. The Captain had to surrender to the direct hit at 65 runs. (Also Read: India VS Australia: Twitterati targets Anushka Sharma over poor performance of Virat Kohli)
(With PTI Inputs)