'45 mins of bad cricket cost us'

SHELL-SHOCKED Rohit Sharma looks extremely dejected after India lost in the semifinals to New Zealand on Wednesday. AFP

After a painful exit from the World Cup, India captain Virat Kohli said that it broke his heart to not have a shot at the title after doing so well in the tournament.

In a match that spilled over to reserve day following a long rain interruption on Tuesday, New Zealand defeated favourites India by 18 runs to book their berth in the final. This is New Zealand’s second straight final entry after the 2015 one which they lost to Australia. It could well be a repeat of the last edition’s final as Australia play England in the second semifinal on Thursday in Birmingham.

“Of course, very disappointed,” said Kohli when asked about his state of mind at that moment. “We played outstanding cricket as I have mentioned already throughout this tournament and to just go out on the basis of 45 minutes of bad cricket is saddening and it breaks your heart also because you have worked so hard throughout the tournament to build momentum. You finish No 1 in the table and then a spell of bad cricket and then you are out of the tournament completely. But you have to accept it. It's happened to us before and we have all come out better cricketers because of these setbacks, especially at a stage like a World Cup,” he offered.

The right-hander, who was leading the side for the first time in a World Cup, said he was not “devastated” at the outcome.

“Look, you obviously feel bad for the result and everyone goes out there to win the game for the team and if it doesn't happen, you feel, like, you could have done things differently or look at things in hindsight,” said Kohli when asked if middle-order could have showed more spunk. “But, yeah, that is why these games are called knockouts because if the opposition plays better, you are out of the tournament. So, we have to accept that. I think we are sad, but we are not, you know, devastated because (we know) the kind of cricket that we played in this tournament,” he explained.

Kohli was happy with India’s bowling show that restricted the Kiwis to 239 which India should have chased down on any surface given their batting depth.

“The first half, we were very, very good,” he maintained. “With the ball and on the field, we were spot on. We got what we needed at that point. We thought we had restricted New Zealand to a chaseable score on any surface but the way they come out with the ball in the first half hour was what made the difference. We knew we had a good day yesterday and we are proud of it. Had a good time in the morning today as well and we had momentum with us. Credit to the New Zealand bowlers, they were really good with the new ball and hit the right areas,” he noted.

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