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WTC Final: Why Blame Virat Kohli Alone, Asks Former India Batsman After Southampton Debacle

Virat Kohli (AFP Photo)

Virat Kohli (AFP Photo)

Indian batting suffered big time in the WTC final against New Zealand, and the result was that Virat Kohli-led side lost the match by a massive eight wickets. Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, all failed to score the big runs, when the situation demanded. In the first innings the team was bundled out for 217 and then 170 in the second.

Indian batting suffered big time in the WTC final against New Zealand, and the result was that Virat Kohli-led side lost the match by a massive eight wickets. Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara, all failed to score the big runs, when the situation demanded. In the first innings the team was bundled out for 217 and then 170 in the second.

For India’s failure in the crucial match, skipper Kohli has been subject to a lot of criticism. But former India batsman Arun Lal has defended Kohli. He said that Kohli was unlucky to be dismissed in the second innings, and only batsmen cannot be blamed for the poor show.

“Look, Virat made a mistake, and that happens. There’s so much pressure on him, while the ball was also moving a lot in such conditions. Prior to that, he was covering for the ball that came in as he was lbw last time. Now, if you are unlucky, you will nick it. Besides, that was a very good spell by (Kyle) Jamieson (in the second innings),” Lal told The Telegraph.

“We can’t really say it was a bad shot. Your foot is two feet away from the ball and you still hit it for a boundary, everyone then says it’s a classy shot. But you miss a similar kind of ball and it takes the edge, people will then say, ‘No footwork, playing away from the body… Horrible shot. That’s not the way you should deal with it. Besides, all our batsmen looked vulnerable against the Dukes’ ball. Why blame Virat alone?” he added.

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Meanwhile, former India selector Gagan Khoda felt that Mohammad Siraj should have played in place of Ishant Sharma. “Siraj should have played in place of Ishant Sharma. The conditions were suitable for swing bowling. No one was moving the ball apart from Mohammad Shami and there was no one who supported him. Siraj could have moved the ball better. Even Shardul could have been a good option. He moves the ball well," Khoda told SportsKeeda in an interview.

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first published:June 26, 2021, 11:17 IST