After India’s loss to Pakistan in their opening encounter of the T20 World Cup 2021 by ten wickets, Indian skipper Virat Kohli faced some tough questions during the post-match press conference and was even stumped by one of the queries on Rohit Sharma place in the playing XI. Sharma was cleaned up by Shaheen Afridi in the first over of the match for a first-ball duck and eventually found themselves tottering early on after being put in to bat.
Ishan Kishan, Sharma’s Mumbai Indians’ teammate, did not find a place in the XI and one of the questions was on whether the former India U19 skipper could find a place at the top of the order at the expense of Sharma.
Kohli seemed baffled by the query and restored back saying it was a brave question to ask, terming it unbelievable.
“It is a very brave question, what do you think sir?,” asked Kohli, before adding,” Because I played the XI I thought was the best. What do you think? What is your opinion? You will drop Rohit Sharma from T20 internationals? Do you know what he did in the last game?”
The skipper did not stop there and with a wry smile went on to say, “Unbelievable. Sir, if you want controversy, tell me before so that I can answer accordingly.”
After losing both the openers (KL Rahul for 3), Kohli anchored the innings with a 49-ball 57 to help India to 151/7 but were outbattled by Pakistan’s opening pair of Babar Azam (69*) and Mohammed Rizwan (78*) who put on an unbeaten 152-run stand, taking Pakistan to their first-ever World Cup win over their arch-rivals.
Replying to a question on whether India took Pakistan lightly considering the team’s superior head-to-head record, Kohli was once again not amused.
As it Happened: India vs Pakistan
“You know it is amazing what reality is and what ideas people will have on the outside,” said the skipper. “There is no shame in accepting that the opposition played better. They did not let us in at any stage and didn’t allow us to put pressure at any stage,” he added.
This was India’s first defeat in World Cups against Pakistan in 13 meetings and incidentally, this was their first-ever ten-wicket loss in T20Is. India will next play New Zealand on Oct 31, while Pakistan face the Black Caps on 26th October.