India crashed to an eight-wicket defeat to a clinical New Zealand team that beat their opponents in all departments of the game, exactly seven days after the 10-wicket drubbing that the Men in Blue received from Pakistan.
“I don’t think we were brave enough with bat or ball. We were not brave enough with our body language,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
India were restricted to a below-par 110 for seven after being sent in to bat with the likes of Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner sharing the spoils with the ball.
“We didn’t have much to defend but we weren’t brave when we walked out to field.”
The defeat will once again raise questions over Kohli’s leadership even though he is stepping down from T20 captaincy after the ongoing tournament.
Asked about the weight of expectations on the team, Kohli said, “When you play for the Indian cricket team you have a lot of expectations — not just from fans, but players as well.
“So there’s always going to be more pressure with our games and we’ve embraced it over the years. Everyone who plays for India has to embrace it. And when you cope together as a team you overcome it and we haven’t done it these two games.
“Just because you’re the Indian team and there are expectations doesn’t mean you start playing differently. I think we’re fine, there’s a lot of cricket left to play,” Kohli added, referring to the three remaining group games that the team must win to stay in contention.
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India are scheduled to play Afghanistan on November 3, Scotland on November 5 and Namibia on November 8, which will wind up the league stage of the T20 showpiece.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson guided his team in the easy chase and was unbeaten on 33 when the winning runs were hit. Opener Daryl Mitchell top-scored with a 35-ball 49.
“There’s always planning going into games. But a fantastic all-round performance from us against a formidable India side. We were able to build pressure throughout and the way the openers came out really set the platform,” Williamson said.
“The balance of our attack has two spinners in it, I think the collective unit was impressive, the way they kept passing the baton. We saw some very good signs in our first match as well and we built on that.
“Look you play against such strong teams all the time, for us it’s about playing our game. Ish is an outstanding T20 bowler, white-ball bowler in particular. He’s been a big part and played in a number of competitions, and in these conditions spin will play a part.”