Article

Gracious Kohli says Pakistan worthy winners

18 June 2017 21:41

Virat Kohli paid tribute to victors Pakistan and acknowledged India had been outplayed in all departments in a one-sided ICC Champions Trophy final.

Reigning champions India went into Sunday's showpiece as strong favourites after thrashing Pakistan in the group stage, but found themselves on the receiving end of a crushing 180-run defeat at The Oval.

After Fakhar Zaman's flamboyant hundred helped Pakistan to 338-4, India slumped to 158 all out in 30.3 overs and would have been beaten by an even greater margin if not for Hardik Pandya's 43-ball 76 from number seven.

"Cricket is not about doing well in every game that you play," reasoned India captain Kohli in his post-match news conference. "You will have failures, and one team has to lose on the day, and today was our day to lose because the opposition played much better than us.

"We give our best every time we go out on the field, and I'm really proud of the way the team has played in this tournament. The cricket is played between two teams. There's no one team on the box, so you have to accept losses, you have to accept that the other team has outplayed you and they've shown better skill than you, they've shown better composure in pressure situations than you.

"I congratulated them [Pakistan] in the post-match [presentation]. I would do the same here because they deserved to win. They certainly played really good cricket. Credit to them for winning the title."

Fakhar endured a torrid time at the start of his innings and was caught behind for three off Jasprit Bumrah, only to earn a reprieve due to the bowler over-stepping.

After finding his feet, the left-handed opener went on to punish India with a series of attractive, if unorthodox, strokes.

"When players like that get going on their day, it becomes real difficult to stop them because I think 80 per cent of his shots were high-risk and they were all coming off," said Kohli.

"Sometimes you have to sit and say the guy is good enough on the day to tackle anything. You can only do so much."

The only bright spot for India was the performance of Pandya, who clubbed six sixes in a thrilling counter-attack before being run out in a mix-up with Ravindra Jadeja.

"The way he batted today and the way he bowled and the way he fielded, that's exactly why we back him, because he can be the match-winner for us in situations where the team is in trouble," said Kohli.

"I mean, today was a bit too far-fetched because we knew one more wicket and it will keep getting tougher. But when he was striking it well, I think he felt and everyone in the changing room also felt that if he can go on for a bit more, then things could become interesting. Unfortunately that didn't happen."

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