India legend slams Virat Kohli over ‘weak’ comments at T20 World Cup


India are on the brink of crashing out of the T20 Cricket World Cup (Picture: Getty)

Former all-rounder Kapil Dev has criticised Virat Kohli’s ‘weak’ comments at the T20 World Cup as India face an early exit.

India lost to arch-rivals Pakistan for the very first time in a World Cup fixture in their opening match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

Another comprehensive defeat to New Zealand followed, leaving pre-tournament favourites India’s hopes of reaching the knockout stages hanging by a thread.

India will need to beat Afghanistan, Scotland and Namibia and hope results elsewhere go there way to progress to the semi-finals in Kohli’s last tournament as T20 captain.

Following India’s eight-wicket defeat to New Zealand on Sunday, Kohli said his side were ‘not brave enough with bat or ball’.

He added: ‘New Zealand had better intensity and body language and put us under pressure from the first ball onwards.

New Zealand thumped India by eight wickets

New Zealand thumped India by eight wickets (Picture: Getty)

‘That happens in T20 cricket and is most often a result of hesitation with the bat. There’s only one way to play T20 cricket, you have to be positive and take calculated risks.

‘Just because you are the Indian cricket team does not mean you have to play the format differently. You need to take some pride in your game.’

But former India all-rounder Dev described Kohli’s comments as ‘weak’, telling ABP News: ‘Obviously, it’s a very weak statement from a player of Virat Kohli’s stature.

‘We all know that he has the hunger and desire to win games for the team. But if the body language of the team and thought process of the captain is not up to the mark, it’s very difficult to lift the mood of the players inside the dressing room.’

Former India all-rounder Kapil Dev (Picture: Getty)

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-Ul-Haq, meanwhile, was ‘shocked’ by India’s second successive defeat at the T20 World Cup and says Kohli’s team look ‘demoralised’.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Inzamam said: ‘I’m shocked by the manner in which India played. They were absolutely demoralised.

‘I could not understand how such a big team could not handle the pressure. The New Zealand bowlers are good, but not world-class.

‘The Indian batsmen were not even able to score singles off them. Kohli’s strength is playing spin and even he was not able to get a single.’

While India look set for an early exit in the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand boosted their play-off chances by beating India following their opening defeat to runaway Group 2 leaders Pakistan.

Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson said: ‘It was a fantastic all-round performance against a formidable Indian outfit. Today a number of things went our way and we were very clinical in all facets.’

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