India v Afghanistan, World T20 2012, Colombo

India with much work to do - Kohli

Abhishek Purohit in Colombo

September 20, 2012

Comments: 76 | Text size: A | A

Virat Kohli was among the runs again, Afghanistan v India, World T20, Group A, Colombo, September, 19, 2012
Virat Kohli knows India need to improve on their first showing © AFP
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Players/Officials: Virat Kohli
Series/Tournaments: ICC World Twenty20
Teams: Afghanistan | India

In the end, India defeated Afghanistan by a comfortable margin. In the end, India had to answer questions about the performance of their bowlers and their openers, while Afghanistan basked in the satisfaction of having given a top team a bit of a fright. It was that kind of game for India. They were expected to win it, and they did, but the manner in which victory was achieved was bound to be questioned.

Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag failed again, leaving run-scoring responsibilities chiefly to Virat Kohli. India's middle order needed Afghanistan to drop four catches to be able to go past 150. Afghanistan then built a solid base to the chase at 52 for 1 in seven overs. India had to rely on part-timer Yuvraj Singh - it possibly is incorrect to call him part-timer anymore - to bring them back. Mohammad Nabi then carted Zaheer Khan for 16 runs in the 16th over to increase MS Dhoni's stress levels before Afghanistan finally ran out of steam.

Kohli said he didn't think India could have lost the game at any stage but admitted they could have won by a bigger margin. He "hoped" the bowling issues were solely due to India coming up against a side that had nothing to lose and came hard at them.

"You are always in doubt [that] if they start scoring in a few overs then things could slip away very quickly," Kohli said. "I am hoping that against a bigger opposition we will turn out in a more positive way as far as our bowling is concerned. Be more aggressive, execute our plans properly and be more geared-up for stronger oppositions. I am hoping that we will put up a better bowling show."

"In Twenty20, if your batting or bowling is not up to the mark then the poor run stretches to two-three games. You need one innings or one spell to change things. But I think we could have done better with the new ball. The wicket was good, there wasn't much swing but I think we could have bowled in better areas and could have won the match with a bigger margin."

The worrying thing was that India needed three successive strikes from Yuvraj to dent Afghanistan's chase. Kohli was asked whether the performance of frontline bowlers such as Zaheer Khan was a concern but said the malaise was largely restricted to bowling at the death.

"Our initial bowling hasn't been that bad. I think that we started well. Even against New Zealand [in the recent T20I in Chennai] we started well. If someone is getting hit in the last over you can't just say that he is not bowling well at all. I think he [Zaheer] is bowling well with the new ball. I think our bowlers need to work a bit more on bowling in the death overs which has been a concern till now and I hope that we can pull our socks up and be ready for the stronger opposition and execute our plans much better than we did in this game."

All is not well on the batting front as well. MS Dhoni has maintained India rely a lot on starts provided by their top three batsman and at the moment, the first two are not weighing in. Kohli ruled out rotating the openers as a solution, and backed Gambhir and Sehwag.

"I believe that in T20 if you play with a settled team composition then the team benefits. If you change the composition and it doesn't work than it leaves a negative impact on the team especially in the batting department. In the bowling department you can experiment in T20. A batting order is set. If the top three score well then you can change the batting order lower down in the innings but changing the combination otherwise is not good. Besides, in T20 you don't need an 80-90 run opening stand. You need a start of 40-45 runs. Only one match has been played so far and the kind of openers we have they are capable of giving us good start at a good pace when they click."

Despite the shortcomings, India did what they had to do. It helped that Afghanistan fluffed simple catches when they had the opportunity to put serious pressure on the India batsmen. Kohli said that was part of the game. "We ended up getting 160-odd and that is what the scoreboard shows. Catches do get dropped and you do get inside edges that pass by the stumps. It is part and parcel of the game. You can't just say that had the catches been taken we would have lost the game. We have won the game and the scorecard shows that. We have to come out and play positively against England and put in a better performance."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by wablo55 on (September 21, 2012, 17:45 GMT)

@sachinkhairnar5983: Completely agree with you mate. I saw today that Yadav had picked up 5 wickets in a domestic first class match, why isn't he in the side? It's ludicrous to think that Balaji (and increasingly due to his fitness - Zaheer) can pose a threat to any top-class batsmen, regardless of the wicket. Though it takes guile as well as pace to beat a top batter, you at least need SOME pace! Aaron, Yadav and Awana are the only bowlers from the domestic scene that have this asset, and how will the ever learn the 'guile' required to succeed at international level, if they are never picked for the India side? The time for a change really is now!

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

@ sachinkhairnar5983 on (September 20 2012, 16:34 PM GMT). You may blame Dhoni for many things; but NOT for selection for the World cup. The selectors don't consult him. And Dhoni stopped complaining long ago.

Posted by rejoicing_cricket on (September 21, 2012, 7:03 GMT)

Really cant understand why there is so much fuss about Afghanistan's batting performance. Seeing their batting I realise they cannot perform well in 50 over format. They were unable to read the pace of the Indian bowlers. Slogging every ball can see you through in T20s not in longer versions of the game

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (September 21, 2012, 5:46 GMT)

@Muhammad Nabil Khan. And that's why your team got all out in 20 overs! so cool!

Posted by Nampally on (September 21, 2012, 1:14 GMT)

@jose puliampatta: Yes indeed where are the 5 Bowlers? Dhoni keeps talking about 4 "Regular" bowlers + part timers. The so called regular bowlers, ZAK & Balaji - do they really deserve a chance in the XI? They both bowled consistently poorly - Balaji was lucky to pick up 2 wkts. in 2 balls to finish the Afghanistan innings. Any major Nations's batting will hit these 2 at >8 runs/over. The other 3 bowlers Ashwin, Irfan & Yuvraj are all All Rounders. Why does India need 9 batsmen when the 2 "Specialist/Regular" bowlers - ZAK & Balaji- both so pathetic. Strangely enough the 2 all rounders, Yuvraj & Ashwin have been taking wkts!. They saved India from being beaten by "Minnows Afghanistan". India has Murali Kartik & Rahul Sharma - 2 fine T-20 specialists amongst the spinners. Replace Harbhajan & Chawla with these 2. Replace Balaji & ZAK with 2 of Praveen, Munaf or D.Kulkarni - all good T-20 players. India may crawl into Super 8, then eliminated with set of toothless "Regular" Bowlers!.

Posted by maddy20 on (September 20, 2012, 18:30 GMT)

Pakistan's batting is not better than Zim. Zim scored 93 against SA and Pakistan scored the same vs Eng.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

Mr. Kohli it was obvious that u all were scared from both batting and bowling of the opponent. The day was urs; but don't forget u were near to lose against great Afghanistan. Don't be that much proud by throwing such words.

Love u Afghan team, love ur each member. Future is ursssssssss

Posted by QingdaoXI on (September 20, 2012, 16:34 GMT)

If India needs to baalnce the side its time to drop both not-in-form openers as they are just coming on the crease to show there presence in Batting order India should go with different batting order that will surprise the opponents: Like Kohli, Pathan, Raina, Rohit, Yuvraj, Tiwary, Dhoni, Bhajji, Ashwin, Dinda and Zaheer/Bala (But both are waste in team-poor fielding). India made mistake they should have Brought new bowling attack of Yadav, Aaroon, Awana and with allrounder Pathan. It would have definatley help us as most of the batsmen are not aware of them and Yadav, Aaroon and Awana's pace and yorkers would have surprise the opposition. I may say that now time has come that all three should get chance form now onwards to make a team for 2015 world cup as well as t-20 2014 and 2016. See Australia have brought Cummins and Starch who have just debuted within this year, but Dhoni doesnt show trust in our New bowlers he just want his personal relations to maintain.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 15:54 GMT)

Indian bowling is not better than zimbabwe's....

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 15:52 GMT)

Nampally -You have hit the nail.Balaji seems to be in the team due to Chennai lobby (in the hindsight).But having seen Dhoni's out of the world captaincy,he prefers vinay kumar,Balaji kind of bowlers who can bowl line,length and slower deliveries.Such a pathetic captain who is hailed as the best one.Even a kid can marshall a team better than him.Dinda with some pace,atleast can provide variety.Right now that is nil.Selection of Piyush Chawla in ODI wc as well as now is baffling.Rahul sharma should have been there.Moreover what is that Chika wanted to achieve by selecting Bhajji.Cleary he is not in Dhoni's scheme of things.With his current form he is logically ruled out of Eng tour.If India does anything commendable in this WC ,it would be due to there awesome middle order batsmen including Dhoni.But the team has lot of flaws.Poor bowlers,far too many slow fielders,confused openers and a horrendous captain.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 15:11 GMT)

Many have argued for playing 5 bowlers. Where is the 5th bowler, worth playing, in the XI. We don't have enough good bowlers to field even FOUR in the playing XI, from the group chosen by the selectors for this T-20 World Cup! With the 2 openers in an "out of order" condition most of the time (with nobody having the courage to send them for "repairs"), we have effectively 4 batsmen, one WK-batsman & 4 bowlers -- in effect, NINE trying to do the job of ELEVEN... If the openers get back to "working condition", India can go far, in this tournament, even with "inadequately functioning" bowlers. Both openers have self-destructive DNA in them; fortunately, both have "self- repairing" capabilities too. ( I don't think, many are aware that Chika doesn't consult Dhoni. Dhoni had given up on Chika quite some time ago. If I can locate the reference, I shall post its lead here)

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

@ Posted by Anwaar.haq on (September 20 2012, 03:50 AM GMT) Copied for easy reference: "just wondering... if India did crash out of this tournament would the majority of their fans say "T20 is not real cricket" and if they actually go on to win the tournament wouldn't they say "T20 is cricket of the future" ?"... ALMOST EVERY COUNTRY'S FANS, IN SOME CASES EVEN PLAYERS LIKE AUSSIE MICHEL CLARKE & MANY ENGLISH PLAYERS HAD INDULGED IN THIS OPPORTUNISTIC REMARKS... So, you don't have to wonder. On your other post,.. You can't judge a country based n a few stupid remarks made by a few stupid people. It takes all sorts of people to make even a small country like Brunei , let alone a big country like India. Check your country first, whichever that might be. It helps to clear your head.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 14:54 GMT)

I agree with Balamurali. Zaheer and Sehwag need to be dropped from the playing XI. Too many passengers and too few to make a good playing XI.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

I think India's batting is weak that why they pick 7 batsmen (+pathan) can't score more than 160 vs afg..

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 14:16 GMT)

cricket pundits are criticising DHoni for playing with 7 batsmen and 4 bowlers. I think this is right strategy because ur both stubborn openers always look for finding the easiest way to get out. Sehwag always keen to throw his wicket away and Gambhir always look to pass the ball in between keeper and first slip or between first and second slip ultimately getting out. the main problem is that after getting out in this manner on numerous occasions, gambhir is still repeating the same crime (not mistake). There is no point behind taking such big risks just for s single run.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

Not sure why this was considered close - a 23 run loss in T20 is a huge loss. India does need to get its act together though. Th openers must be dropped.

Posted by Nampally on (September 20, 2012, 13:13 GMT)

If ZAK is bowling well with the new ball( according to Kohli) let him complete his 4 overs with the new ball at an economy rate of <5 runs/over. Get reinforcement of Murali Kartik & use him in death overs. Murali is a difficult bowler to hit as he bowls to his field. For heaven sake try Dinda in place of Balaji. The current bowling is simply inadequate. Kohli has to be frank & honest, as he usually is. Call spade a spade! Just beating round the bush is poor. India needs good bowling performance from 5 bowlers. Right now no one except Ashwin is performing on a consistent basis & the 2 reserve bowlers in Chawla & Harbhajan are poor at best, while the 3rd guy Dinda is not even tried!. What sort of tactics are these? Sehwag is better bowler than Balaji or ZAK but he is never tried either.Common wake up Dhoni, we want some logic & rationality - not just wishful thinking.

Posted by Big_Poppa_94 on (September 20, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

T20 is a bit of a lottery. Remember Zimbabwe beating Australia in a T20 WC match (?). That would 99% of the time never happen in a ODI and most definitely NOT in a Test Match.

Sure India's bowling is weak. But their batting can chase most scores set. I got faith in India and I won't bash them mindlessly.

Even if we don't progress past the Super 8's. I'd feel it would be a blessing so that we can prepare for the home tours against England and Australia.

I still think India will get to the final. Just a gut feeling.

Posted by Narbavi on (September 20, 2012, 11:43 GMT)

@Anwaar.haq: You are actually echoing the views of lankan and pakistani fans, its those guys who will say t20 is the future if they win it and t20 is nothing if they lose it!!

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 11:13 GMT)

I personally feel msd must come at 4 ahead of yuvi so he settle n makes a big score.... And raina at 6 ..... U saw dhoni sterday of wat he cn do..... Indian bowling will improve as tournamnet goes n hopes he uses raina bowling well as he s a gud t20 bowler

Posted by SaifS on (September 20, 2012, 11:13 GMT)

Gautam Gambhir in his current form is the most unelegant lefty I've ever seen. He is not learning from his mistakes of nudging the ball outside off....I dont understand why...think he's taken his place in the team lightly...overconfidence is detrimental Gambhir! Rahane should be given a chance he is a wonderful T20 player.

Posted by nileththi on (September 20, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

Because India play too much of cricket, unfortunately they are not the greatest team in this cup, next game India will loose no doubt about that.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 11:02 GMT)

I think AFGANISTAN will beat ENGLAND in next match...........

Posted by Redolance on (September 20, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

ind bowling is too weak ......

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 10:17 GMT)

in 2011 world cup openning match vs bangladesh indian bowler were criticied at the end of the tournaament india won thw world cup hope this happen again

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

gud job by india and equally by afghanistan,...!!:)

Posted by JayGoswami on (September 20, 2012, 9:22 GMT)

@Zerof Indian players will not spend their time in Test practice but will practise for the CL T-20 that is starting just after the world T-20 on october 13

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 9:21 GMT)

In T20 playing 4 frontline bowlers is risky. If one gets hit, you are exposing two part timers and this could be suicidal at times. This issue can be resolved by playing 5 frontline bowlers and as it is they are playing one too many batsmen. The batsmen to go out would be either viru or rohit. Based on the current form, viru would need to sit out and kohli could provide better starts with gambhir. It's tricky but worth the move. I would also insist on irfan going one down which would develop his all round credentials and also would give cushion to the depth in batting; and this is what dhoni wants, he coming in at five or six or seven. The best news is yet to come, and that is, they would be able to play both ashwin and bhaji here with two more seamers to follow. My team would look like; kohli, gambhir, pathan, yuvi, dhoni, raina, rohit, ashwin, bhaji, zaheer and dinda/bala. Well I am a great viru fan but this is the best team composition India can think of playing ahead in the wc!

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 9:20 GMT)

Really afghanistan played their best.Indian bowlers have to do some job out there..!!

Posted by Chetan007 on (September 20, 2012, 9:13 GMT)

Of course, India need much to do. Experience counts sometime but In T20 matches1 bowlers gets only 4 overs to bowl. Either the bowler should be economical or a wicket taker. Zaheer is not doing either of two. Zaheer is helping other bowler with his experience, that can also be done while sitting at the bench too. Gambhir should be given a chance to get back in touch till 1st super8 match not beyond that. It's WC not any bilateral series which a team can afford if a person is not in form. Yuvraj is a good player but he is feeling the pressure to perform. He is trying to hit the ball more hard. I just need to tell him play your natural game. Don't feel the pressure. I know how you were feeling. Making a comeback in this much big series. Not to be a villain if the team looses. Only the team can make you come out of the situation. Other players have to perform to their potential to make you feel comfortable.

Posted by Zerof on (September 20, 2012, 8:57 GMT)

Hi guys since when did T20 become the bench mark for cricketing excellence. it is just a money making circus. True benchmark of cricketint excellence is still test cricket and to a certain extent one day cricket. Do not waste your time worrying about Indias performance in T20 world cup. ideally it would be beter if india does not make it to the Super 8 round. So that they will spend more time training for the up coming Test series.

Posted by Sundeep1008 on (September 20, 2012, 8:42 GMT)

Cool down guys. Just look out for the performance of India against Pakistan.

Posted by Ecovijay on (September 20, 2012, 8:33 GMT)

srikanth has taken a poor bowling unit for this wc squad. Balaji's speed and Marlon samuel's bowling speed are similar. zak is not fitting into the test team only. To be specific we dont have a seam bowler in form. Where are dinda, yadav, aaron? Shame on shrikanth for picking up such a team. Now everything rests on ashwin. He cant get wickets n be consistent in all the matches.

Hats off to afghns for raising dhoni's heart beat.....its a wake up alarm

Posted by Mr.BU on (September 20, 2012, 8:21 GMT)

confident statements by Kohli and Dhoni... but we know their legs are wobbling!

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 8:19 GMT)

Coach cant play in the field..... dont blame...Zaheer...he is not only bowling his spell.. on .parallel .. he is leading other bowlers in our team....he reads the pitch and access the situation very well than any other bowlers in the current team....We have very less senior and special fast bowler in our team... to nourish the upcoming youngsters in the team... Believe me if we send zaheer out... Indian bowling looks very unsettled....

Posted by mazke on (September 20, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

" Kohli said he didn't think India could have lost the game at any stage". Kohli would have had the same statement if they would have won against Pakistan in warmup.

Posted by mehulmatrix on (September 20, 2012, 8:03 GMT)

Given we play so many IPL matched and still cant bowl well in death overs or have a good batting indicates IPL is much about money not learning or becoming good as well. No wonder im not a fan of IPL or Indian T20 matches. Well done Afghans for the spirited show. I think Zaheer though is a good bowler in tests, hes over hyped in limited format.

Posted by muski on (September 20, 2012, 8:03 GMT)

MSD- For heaven's sake dont give any of the last 3 overs to Zak. It should be between Irfan and Ashwin only. Zak is good in the opening overs. At the death his mental strength is terrible. By the way, when are the openers going to fire. I agree that matches against teams which have nothing to lose is always going to be difficult. Lets see how you fare against the POMS next.

Posted by dscoll on (September 20, 2012, 7:53 GMT)

What a feeble display from India. Any team with a couple of half decent quicks would knock over the Afghans for < 100. The indian "fast" bowlers are glorified medium pacers.

Posted by S-A-M-1994 on (September 20, 2012, 7:50 GMT)

Pakistan's B team Afghanistan...and YA KEEPING legacy of dropping catches like Pak team lol..... anyway .Well Played Bros....Aghhainstan rockz

Posted by Naresh28 on (September 20, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

GAMBHIR and ZAKS have become liabilities in this WC for Team India. At least Shewag scores a good 30/40 runs sometimes. Time to replace these two if Tiwary comes in he can be an asset in the feilding and batting. Dinda has to fire and replace Zaks. These are hard DECISIONS which DHONI NEED TO MAKE. See the chance of winning slipping if no changes are done

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 7:18 GMT)

The simple and honest truth is that India's batting is as good as its bowling poor. They are going to depend on a fair share of luck to scrape through to the finals. As good as the IPL has been to nurture India's T20 batting talent, it has also 'hidden' a glaring anomaly viz. the dearth of quality bowling at their disposal. The sooner this reality is faced the quicker and easier it would be to accept that India is not world beaters, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Posted by sharidas on (September 20, 2012, 7:15 GMT)

Taking nothing away from Afghanistan, it is well to think, that they had nothing to lose and so could play more relaxed. Dropped catches, are as normal as bad bowling or sneaky shots and so are umpiring decisions. In the World cup every win matters and it is good that in T20 every team has a chance to achieve that.

Posted by neerajprasher on (September 20, 2012, 7:00 GMT)

Sehwag out Rahane In,Gambhir out Tiwary in,Raina can open the bat with Rahane and Zaheer out Dinda or Harbhajan In.why they always depend on sehwag he is out of form kick him out send bak to India.tell him to play domestic cricket call someoneelse.come on india.this is not a world cup wining Team performance.

Posted by Faisalhayat on (September 20, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

you Indian need to work very very very hard to destablized England bcoz england is one of 3 teams (SA,ENG and Australia) who can have a far better skills to beat anyone in no time.....Think Twice and make Solid Plan before entering into Ground..

Posted by Edassery on (September 20, 2012, 6:51 GMT)

Obviously he wants to play it safe when talking about senior bowlers and batsmen. But the bottom line is that our bowling looks pathetic. In recent SL wickets we need at least a bowler that can hit the deck hard but all the three 'seamers' we have are slow-medium swing bowlers. The bowling really lack variety.

Some good changes are required in the next match. I would drop either Sehwag or Gambhir and get Tiwari in. As for bowling, Dinda should get a go ahead of Zaheer or Pathan. We don't need two left armers.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 6:41 GMT)


Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 6:30 GMT)

When was the last time when Zak bowled an effective spell and took plenty wickets?? I don't remember.. Do you??

Posted by Shrikant25 on (September 20, 2012, 6:21 GMT)

What is bowling coach doing . bowler doesn't know how to ball york. They just ball low full tosses. Sadly there is no good fast bowler in india. India can win w.cup if ashwin and harbajan perform well. Remove 1 batsman.and play 5 bowler. Send zak back to india .

Posted by umair1970 on (September 20, 2012, 5:59 GMT)

Sensible comments by virat. If not for the 4dropped catches and Asad Rauf's moronic lbw decision, things would have been even tighter. As it is, after 16 overs Afghanistan was 116 to India's 115. Ultimately a hard earned and deserved win for India but a flawed performance

Afghanistan will give the Brits a real run as well.

Posted by joseyesu on (September 20, 2012, 5:57 GMT)

Not a good display by India. Sehwag/Gambir are not at all taking the responsibility

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

Zaheer Khan is not bowling well..There is no variation in his Bowling..He is just not learning & making same mistakes again.He is not using Short Delivery..Better to Make him Sit the next match & play Harbhajan In his place...

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (September 20, 2012, 5:24 GMT)

zaheer has become " DHARTI KA BOJH" in this team . can't take wkts , can't stop runs , can't bowl yorkers .

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

@TRAM: Why are u angry with Kohli? he's playing like a dream, let him be!

Posted by grizzle on (September 20, 2012, 4:57 GMT)

The sooner this hit-and-giggle tournament is over for India, the better. Come back Virat! You guys need to get in shape for that England Test series!

Posted by Akayar22 on (September 20, 2012, 4:55 GMT)

Well done Afghan team, you put a solid performance against a top team, you lost because of inexperience and pressure of the huge game otherwise you were the winners. keep the spirit and u will be able to punch biggies in next world cup Insha Allah.

All these comments of Dhoni & Kohli they just want to cover for their inability to play Afg.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (September 20, 2012, 4:44 GMT)

Well done Kohli. India riding on his ability. It is the time to get rid of Sewag.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 3:53 GMT)

It is not the first over or death over for Zaheer Khan,, The way he bowled was horrible... Keep bowling full tosses in the death over.. India has serous problem with Zaheer Khan.. he does not vary his pace and rely solely on yarkers .. and he is not good with this.. we need some one intelligent.. Balaji with less experience and speed is more capable than Zaheer.. Sorry Kohli he is bad choice

Posted by Anwaar.haq on (September 20, 2012, 3:51 GMT)

Reading SOME Indian comments is funnier than reading the entire cartoon page of a newspaper. Gosh I'd love to visit that country some day and see what it is like :D

Posted by Anwaar.haq on (September 20, 2012, 3:50 GMT)

just wondering... if India did crash out of this tournament would the majority of their fans say "T20 is not real cricket" and if they actually go on to win the tournament wouldn't they say "T20 is cricket of the future" ?

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 3:50 GMT)

Accumulating runs in low pressure circumstances and against weaker bowling attacks makes this guy the best Indian bat eh ?? Raina, despite having proved on many occassions that he's a big match,high pressure player doesn't get any appreciation ?? Funny .....Kohli didn't do anything significant when the true pressure was on in the 2011 WC and i'm damn sure he will wilt against england and the tough matches ahead .

Posted by shrastogi on (September 20, 2012, 3:19 GMT)

Virat is future of Indian cricket and on present form perhaps the best Indian bat but that doesnt mean he is correct in his assesment. He may be saying things to keep the team's morale up but some of things he says just doesnt gel. For example he finds problem with the bowling in death overs but tell me Virat if your new ball bowlers concede 52 runs in first 7 overs and take just one wicket against afghans how is that not worrisome. again some of the theories he has about batting order are obsolete. You need to experiment alot with batting order just to keep those video analysing you at bay if you are going to make known play of 7 batsmen and 4 bowlers time and again. 40-45 runs is a decent start but is not sufficient if you've to make 180 plus into 200 plus and we have seen against Pakistan that Indian do need a cushion of more runs nad 9 an over is not good enough. So Virat you are future Indian captain but you do need to see things better. India take a match at a time and aim SF.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 3:13 GMT)

'He "hoped" the bowling issues were solely due to India coming up against a side that had nothing to lose and came hard at them' - Stupid comment from Kohli, because every team in the WC will be playing good hard cricket. The fact is Openers are failing and bowling looks spineless. If this is any indication on India's upcoming performance then making it to the semi-finals will be tough as we will be playing AUS, SA and PAK.

Posted by TRAM on (September 20, 2012, 3:10 GMT)

Kholi, so why dont you send Tiwary back home, since you dont want the playing 11 to be disturbed?? Can you say how many matches an youngster like Tiwary should wait in the bench, when so many other batsmen are failing? Did you forget you yourself came in to the team because some one else was DROPPED. Dropping a non-performing player IS the healthy process. Hiding the truth is not called diplomatic (if you think this kind of answers are diplomatic). Have the courage to tell the truth. But say it in a diplomatic way. Again, my point is, be diplomatic in your choice of words. But dont hide the truths.

Posted by satish619chandar on (September 20, 2012, 3:09 GMT)

First i thought we couldn't afford Balaji and Dinda in the same team but now, after all the T20 games and IPL, i am getting a feel that Zak is the misfit in the team. He is not having enough pace or variation for the format. Still, Zak is a bit lethal against the left handers and i would include him against teams with big number of lefties like SL. But against right handers dominated 11's, Dinda could come in for Zak as he has the extra pace to do something off the pitch. With the come back of Yuvi as the premier spinner, we could afford 7+4 combo to stay. On the other hand, Afghan's were just brilliant. Especially their ground fielding though they dropped many catches, they were very much spirited and did a wonderful job. With more experience, they are always going to improve.

Posted by rajesh_singhSTM on (September 20, 2012, 3:04 GMT)

I remember in 2003 ,India made heavy weather of beating Holland in first game just like today. People gave up hope and India then came back to reach final with ease. History likely to repeat and our jealous SL/Pak neighbors will go numb with shock. Let them joke now because in end as always they will eat a humble pie and these forums will be pest free by October 7th.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 3:04 GMT)

With this kind of bowling i don't see how India will fare against top teams.

Posted by rajesh_singhSTM on (September 20, 2012, 3:00 GMT)

You can't just say that had the catches been taken we would have lost the game. It could also have been that Dhoni, Rohit,Irfan would have got more deliveries to face and maybe scored lot more higher, maybe 180+. Like Kohli said, in the end score card says India won. Besides is it Indias fault if opposition drops catches.Did India request them to do so?Like they say "if" and "buts" were candies, choclate shops would go bankrupt but chocolate is best selling product for ages and will always remain so.In similar manner India is winner and will remain so

Posted by rsurya on (September 20, 2012, 2:49 GMT)

Atlast an article about THE MANNER IN WHICH VICTORY WAS ACHIEVED, dhoni maintained a culture of AT THE END OF THE DAY WINNING IS IMPORTANT its proved wrong. With Indian bowling I never at any point of time had belief that it will win any match. But everytime we emphasis on our batting. Its cricket game and u need both batting and bowling. Virat kohli looks like he is from South Africa, he got a lot of confidence unlike every other in the team.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 2:21 GMT)

It has been our wont to struggle against weak opponents. Has happened in the past as well. We do make heavy weather of it.

Posted by ajeeshferdin10 on (September 20, 2012, 2:03 GMT)

Oh this man really can not put his foot wrong so bowlers try to get his methods while bowling, to accumulate wickets just like he is accumulating runs....

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 1:53 GMT)

kohli..the indian run macine! hope india will win against england!

Posted by Balamurali on (September 20, 2012, 1:47 GMT)

Kohli, of course, can't say bad about Zaheer. But the fact of the matter is Zaheer is cluleless.

Two changes are a MUST! Zaheer needs to be replaced by Dinda, and Shewag by Manoj Tiwari, if India were to win this World Cup.

I recall what Sehwag once said after he was dropped. Sehwag and his wife (newly weeded) were watching India Vs England on TV. His wife said 'If you were in form, I would have been watching this match at the ground in London'. Sehwag felt so bad he started working on his short comings and stormed back into the Indian team. I guess he needs another such kick in the back!

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 1:18 GMT)

Somebody should have taught the Afghanis how to catch! Then India would have been in serious trouble!

Posted by xylo on (September 20, 2012, 1:02 GMT)

I like Kohli's take on things - "You can't just say that had the catches been taken we would have lost the game. We have won the game and the scorecard shows that. ". That shows a lot of maturity at such a young age.

Posted by La_Gajjar on (September 20, 2012, 0:43 GMT)

Spoken like the next Captain!

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Tournament Results
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 7, 2012
West Indies won by 36 runs
Australia v West Indies at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 5, 2012
West Indies won by 74 runs
Sri Lanka v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 4, 2012
Sri Lanka won by 16 runs
India v South Africa at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 2, 2012
India won by 1 run
Australia v Pakistan at Colombo (RPS) - Oct 2, 2012
Pakistan won by 32 runs
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