IPL

T20 World Cup: Kohli insists India will not press panic button after Pakistan loss

By Sports Desk October 24, 2021

Virat Kohli will not press the panic button after Pakistan defeated his India side in a 10-wicket thumping at the T20 World Cup.

India had lost just one of their last eight T20I meetings with Pakistan while they had collected five successive T20 World Cup wins but Azam's side prevailed in their Super 12 Group 2 opener.

Kohli's 57 – his 29th half-century in the format in which he is the leading run scorer in history (3,216) – guided India to 151-7.

However, India had lost all eight games defending 160 or lower and that trend continued Sunday.

Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan combined for a 152-run opening stand, the highest opening partnership against India and the second-highest in the history of the competition, to see Pakistan to a maiden victory over India in the competition.

Yet despite conceding Pakistan outclassed his side, Kohli insisted India would not begin to worry in the early stages of the tournament.

"We did not execute the things that we wanted to but credit is certainly due – they outplayed us today," Kohli said at the post-match presentation.

"When you lose three early it's very difficult to come back, especially when you know the dew is coming. They were very professional with the bat as well. 

"Hitting through the line was not as easy in the first half as it seemed in the Pakistan innings, so when you know the conditions can change, you need 10-20 extra runs. 

"But some quality bowling from Pakistan didn't let us get off the blocks. We're certainly not a team that presses the panic button, it's the start of the tournament, not the end."

Meanwhile, Azam – who is the leading scorer in the last three years of T20I cricket with 1,241 runs – credited Shaheen Afridi's excellent opening bowling spell in which he managed 3-31, while also praising his opening partner Rizwan.

"We executed our plans well and the early wickets were very helpful," Azam said after Kohli had spoken. 

"Shaheen's wickets gave us a lot of confidence and the spinners dominated as well. The plan with Rizwan is always to keep it simple. We tried to get deep in the crease and from about the 8th over the dew came in and the ball came on nicely. 

"This is just the start, we have the confidence to build on now. It will remain match by match for us. 

"The pressure on us wasn't that much - we weren't thinking of the record against India at all. I only wanted to back all our players who've been preparing well. 

"When you play tournaments before a big World Cup, it helps and our players came in with a lot of confidence because of that."

Related items

  • CWI pays tribute to late sports administrator and broadcaster 'Tony' Harford CWI pays tribute to late sports administrator and broadcaster 'Tony' Harford

    Cricket West Indies (CWI) has paid tribute to noted sports administrator and sportscaster Anthony “Tony” Harford, who passed away on Friday.

    Harford, who also played a major role in the development of cricket at all levels, was a leading figure in the marketing and promotion of sports, including working with the Trinidad & Tobago football team to the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

    In the 1990s, he worked with the then West Indies Cricket Board of Control (WICBC) in the marketing and sponsorship of the West Indies team and accompanied the players on tour.

    Harford’s work in cricket also included the development of age-group cricket tournaments and grassroots cricket. He was the lead coordinator and fundraiser for the first-ever West Indies U17 tour to Australia and established an annual “windball” (tennis ball) tournament for amateur players from across the Caribbean.

    “Tony was a loyal son and selfless servant of West Indies and Trinidad cricket. He had a tremendous love of sports, and profound knowledge of the ins and outs of all sports,” CWI Vice President Dr Kishore Shallow recalled.

    “His service to youth cricket in the Windward Islands was especially innovative and impactful. In the 1990s, he literally relocated the annual Windwards youth tournaments to Trinidad where he found adequate sponsorships to keep the age tournaments alive at a period when the Windwards cricket board was financially strapped.

    “He loved young people and was dedicated to seeing the growth of the sporting industry as well as and the development of individual sportspersons. On behalf of CWI’s president, Directors and staff, I would like to extend condolences to the Harford family and loved ones, as well as the sporting fraternity in Trinidad & Tobago.”

     

  • Freiburg make Bundesliga history in 6-0 first-half mauling of Gladbach Freiburg make Bundesliga history in 6-0 first-half mauling of Gladbach

    Freiburg made Bundesliga history as they put sorry hosts Borussia Monchengladbach to the sword with a ruthless first-half display, moving 6-0 ahead at the break on Sunday.

    Struggling Gladbach were humiliated by high-flying Freiburg, who became the first team in the German top flight to score five goals away from home inside 25 minutes of a match.

    Freiburg had lost their previous two games, but Maximilian Eggestein and Kevin Schade put them two goals up with only five minutes gone.

    Philipp Lienhart, Nicolas Hofler and Lucas Holer got in on the act before Nico Schlotterbeck put rampant Freiburg 6-0 up at half-time.

    Stefan Lainer and Alassane Plea were substituted in the first half of a horror for the Foals, with boss Adi Hutter's job surely hanging by a thread.

    Gladbach had previously been the only side to score five goals in the opening 25 minutes of a match, that coming at home to Braunschweig in October 1984.

  • England skipper Root says Ashes series will define his captaincy England skipper Root says Ashes series will define his captaincy

    Joe Root has predicted the upcoming Ashes series against Australia will "define" his reign as England captain.

    Root will go up against new Australia skipper Pat Cummins in the five-Test series, and he acknowledges results against the old enemy have been the yardstick for judging England captains in the past.

    The 30-year-old's only other series in the role in Australia resulted in a 4-0 defeat four years ago, but Root sees this as an opportunity for himself and his team-mates to make an impact.

    Speaking ahead of the first Test which starts on Wednesday in Brisbane, Root told reporters: "Of course it will define my captaincy – I'm not naive enough to think that it won't – but what a great opportunity.

    "If you look how hard it's been for English captains and English teams [to win in Australia] over the years, it has been something which doesn't happen very often.

    "I'm very excited about it and can't wait for the series to get going."

    Root is the top-ranked Test batsman in world cricket, ahead of Australia's Steve Smith and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

    In 2021, Root has scored 1,455 Test runs in 12 matches at an average of 66.13, over 500 runs more than India's Rohit Sharma in second place.

    He is also set to overtake Alastair Cook as the player to have won the most caps while captain of England during the series.

     

    "You look at some of the players, some of the individuals, some of the performances guys have put in," Root added. "The senior guys have done it time and time again and the junior guys have shown glimpses of what they can do and their potential.

    "What better stage to really grab a series and make an announcement on the international stage. I'm an Ashes player and I want to live in the history of this great rivalry. That carrot is there for everyone."

    Australia have already named their side for the first Test at the Gabba, including Travis Head and Mitchell Starc.

    The Australians have won seven of their last eight men's Test series against England on home soil, not losing a single match in three of their last four series hosting the Ashes.

    Root said England were not yet in a position to name their team but did suggest that spin would be important, hinting that Jack Leach could feature.

    "We've got all the options on the table right now. We're not going to name a team just yet. We'll have to see a closer forecast and how that pitch changes over the next couple of days," Root said.

    "But I do think it is a good place to bowl spin. If you speak to some of the great spin bowlers from Australia, they've always enjoyed bowling here.

    "It's something we'll weigh up, but we're not in a position to make a call on that right now."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.