Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday expressed his disappointment after his side's semi-final defeat against New Zealand at the Old Trafford in Manchester, saying that 45 minutes of bad cricket had cost the Men in Blue a place in the summit showdown of the tournament.
Chasing the target of 240 which seemed moderate initially, India made a worst possible start as they collapsed to 5/3 inside 3.1 overs before wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni (50) and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (77) stitched a crucial partnership of 116 runs for the seventh wicket to bring India back into the game after looking down and out at one stage of the match.
However, Dhoni-- who has led India to many victories from difficult scenarios--failed to guide India past the winning mark and was dismissed for 50, shortly after Jadeja's dismissal before the Men in Blue were eventually bundled out for 221 inside 49.3 overs.
Speaking after his side's 18-run defeat, Kohli admitted that his side's shot selection could have been better, however, crediting Dhoni and Jadeja for their good partnership under pressure situation.
The 30-year-old further praised New Zealand of being braver in crunch situations than his side while admitting that the Kane Williamson-led team truly deserved to win.
"Yes, it was. The first half we were spot on. We got what we needed in the field. We knew we had a good day yesterday, we felt like we had the moment, but the credit has to go to NZ bowlers. The swing and help they got from the surface - the skill from them was on display. Jaddu had an outstanding couple of games. He went with so much clarity, MS had a good partnership with him. It was a game of margins and MS was run-out. 45 minutes of bad cricket puts you out of the tournament," Kohli said during the post-match presentation.
"Difficult to take it - but New Zealand deserve it. Our shot selection could have been better, but we played a good standard of cricket throughout. New Zealand were braver in crunch situations and they deserve it," he added.
Put in to bowl first, the Indian bowlers had earlier produced a fine bowling spell to restrict the Williamson-led side to a score of 239 for eight in their stipulated 50 overs after the all-important last four clash was resumed at the previous day's scoreline of 211 for five in 46.1 overs following incessant rain.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the pick of the bowlers for India with figures of three for 43, while Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Yujvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja all chipped in with a wicket each.
New Zealand will now face off with the winners of another World Cup 2019 semi-final clash between Australia and England in the summit showdown at Lord's on July 14.