Friday, May 24, 2024

ICC: Pressure tells in New Zealand win over India

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Photo Credit: ICC

Pressure was the word that both Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson came back to when describing New Zealand’s comprehensive victory over India in Dubai.

It was the pressure put on by the Black Caps’ bowling attack that never allowed India to settle after being put in, and from there the Kiwis dictated the game.

Chasing just 111 for victory, New Zealand cruised to an eight-wicket victory, igniting their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 campaign while leaving India needing other results to go their way to have a chance of making the semi-finals.

And Black Caps skipper Williamson, who scored an unbeaten 33, was thrilled at the way his bowlers set up the victory.

He said: “It was a fantastic all-round performance from us against a formidable Indian outfit who were always going to put up an incredible fight. A number of things went our way and we were very clinical in all facets.

“The first half of the game was set up perfectly on a surface which was not easy to find rhythm on, we were able to build pressure throughout and the way the openers came out and got us off to a great start really set the platform for the chase.

“The balance of our attack has two spinners in it, they were both outstanding. I think the collective unit was outstanding, the way they kept passing the baton and applying pressure. It was a really strong performance for us. We saw some a lot of good signs in our first match as well which was a tight one and we were able to build on that.”

Following a 10-wicket defeat to Pakistan, India were in desperate need of a win, but never got going as they looked to set a total.

A period of 71 balls without a boundary typified their struggles and captain Kohli, who made nine before being caught in the deep like many of his teammates, felt his side needed to be more courageous.

He said: “It was quite bizarre. I don’t think we were brave enough with bat or ball. Didn’t have much to play with but we weren’t brave enough in our body language when we entered the field. New Zealand had better intensity and better body language and they created pressure on us from the first over onwards.

“They continued that through the innings and every time we felt like we wanted to take a chance, we lost a wicket. That happens in T20 cricket but most often it’s a result of a little bit of hesitation with the bat and wondering whether you should go for the shot or not.

“When you play for the Indian cricket team you have a lot of expectations – not only from fans, but from the players themselves. So there’s always going to be more pressure with our games, that’s always been the case and we’ve embraced it over the years.

“Everyone who plays for the India team has to embrace it and learn how to cope with it. And when you cope with that as a team you are able to overcome that pressure and those situations and we haven’t done it these two games and that’s why we haven’t won.”

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