ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Virat Kohli downplays expectations of berth in semis despite 'perfect ODI' vs Aussies
Two strong performances against two strong teams - South Africa and Australia - has boosted Virat Kohli's confidence but the Indian captain feels it is just too early to make predictions in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Despite two successive victories in the first two matches of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, Virat Kohli feels it is just too early to think about a place in the semis and that he would like to continue with the momentum in the matches that are coming up.
India completely outclassed Australia at The Oval on Sunday and scripted a 36-run win. While this was India's second win in as many games in the ongoing tournament, it also ended a 10-match winning streak of the Aussies. While Kohli is relishing the result, he feels any expectations that his team is a sure-shot entrant into the semis would be a premature conclusion. "It’s far too early to talk about semi-finals. After six games, we will be in a better position to think about that but it's not for now," he said after the match against Australia.
Kohli, however, said that facing off against two strong sides and coming out on top is a massive boost for his team. "We couldn’t have asked for a better start against two very strong sides and I like that we’ve got the strongest sides in world cricket early on. We have to be at the top of our game from the start of the tournament," he said on his team's wins against South Africa and Australia.
While the Indian bowlers dictated terms in the opening match against the Proteas - before Rohit Sharma slapped a century, it was a complete batting dominance against the Aussies with Shikhar Dhawan slamming a ton which was followed by forceful knocks by Kohli, Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni. On a track that helped power hitting, Indian bowlers managed to blunt most of the Aussie batting attack to complete what Kohli would term as a perfect match. "It was the perfect one-day game for us. We were very professional and that pleases you as a captain. I couldn’t really ask for better, in all three departments," he said. "We set the tone with the bat and we bowled really well. We won all the crucial moments and never took our foot off the pedal."
Kohli would now hope that the foot remains firmly in place on the pedal as the Men in Blue next take on New Zealand at Nottingham on Thursday.