ICC World Twenty20: Virat Kohli played an awesome innings under pressure, says Shahid Afridi

first_imgShahid Afridi was rattled after India crushed Pakistan at the Eden Gardens but he was gracious in defeat and congratulated MS Dhoni’s team on a well-deserved victory in their ICC World Twenty20 tie on Saturday. (Scorecard)Pakisan were put in to bat on a raging turner and they managed 118/5 off 18 overs (after the match had been reduced by two overs, thanks to rain). Many felt it would be a challenging chase, but Pakistan were blown away by Virat Kohli’s brilliance, who smashed his 14th fifty to see India home with plenty to spare at the end. (‘Hurt’ Virat Kohli wanted to keep calm and thrash Pakistan) Afridi, who had endeared himself to Indian fans earlier, said India deserved to to be congratulated for a great bowling performance and lauded Kohli’s class. The Pakistan skipper said he was surprised by the turn on offer at the Eden Gardens and added that he would have played an extra spinner had he known it would turn so sharply. (11 on 11: India beat Pakistan at Eden Gardens, 11 World Cup matches, 11 wins)Pakistan had outclassed Bangladesh in a high-scoring match at the same venue and they were consequently startled by the drastic change in conditions. But Afridi did not want to offer any excuses.”First of all, I want to congratulate Dhoni and his team for playing well,” Afridi said at the post-match presentation ceremony.”I did not expect the pitch to spin so much, but that’s no excuse. I think we didn’t score enough runs. We were short by 30-35 runs. Their spinners bowled well. I think we didn’t bowl in the right areas and I didn’t bowl well. Kohli played an awesome innings under pressure. (Heroes and Zeros: India let Pakistan know who is the boss) advertisementSunil Gavaskar, Steve Waugh and Sourav Ganguly had said India would be under more pressure than Pakistan in Kolkata. Having lost against New Zealand, India needed to beat Pakistan to stay in contention for the semifinals. A slip-up here could have been the end of their campaign on home-soil. But India showed their resolve by bouncing back in style in a high-profile clash.Afridi said his team should take a leaf out of India’s book on how to handle pressure.”India play very well under pressure. Their batsmen play well under pressure and our batsmen have to learn from them in that aspect. We are playing Australia and New Zealand next, so we’ve got to play very well. This game is done, we need to quickly focus on the next game.”India next play Bangladesh in Bangalore on Wednesday before taking on Australia in Mohali next Sunday. India need to win both these games in order to qualify for the semis. Dhoni’s Devils could be unstoppable now that they have overcome their greatest rivals in such style.last_img read more