Veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh reckons that the New Zealand spinners planned well around India captain Virat Kohli to dismiss him in the T20 World Cup 2021 clash at Dubai on Sunday. Notably, Kohli stayed at the wicket for 17 deliveries but managed to score just 9 runs as he was not able to rotate the strike as freely as he usually does.
Bhajji made a similar observation and highlighted that the Kiwi spinners were smart enough to keep it tight and they played with Kohli's ego. When runs were hard to come by, they forced him to go for an uncharacteristic slog which led to his dismissal.
Kohli tried what he doesn't do: Harbhajan
"They played with Virat Kohli's ego. They said that they will not give him the runs, if you come at the start and play the big shot, it's fine but they will not give the singles. When you hurt a big player's ego by not giving the singles, they play a shot like Virat Kohli played today," Harbhajan said during a discussion on Star Sports.
"Virat Kohli's shot is not his natural game. He tried what he doesn't do. If he had hit the same ball over cover or played after stepping out, I feel that would have been a better option," he added.
Only an outside chance for India to qualify for semifinals
Notably, Kohli did not score a single boundary during his innings. While he usually bats at the number 3 position, he decided to come at number 4 for this match against the Kiwis. However, the plan clearly failed. He could not score a run for his first five balls and could not score a run in 10 of the 17 total balls that he faced during his innings.
India lost by 8 wickets to New Zealand in this match after having managed just 110 with the bat. Moreover, in both the matches combined so far, the Indian bowling attack managed a cumulative of 2 wickets. They have been outplayed by both Pakistan and New Zealand and have only an outside chance of making it to the semifinals with Pakistan and New Zealand favourites to proceed further from Group 2.