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T20 World Cup 2021: "They played with Virat Kohli's ego" - Harbhajan Singh on the Indian skipper's dismissal against New Zealand

Virat Kohli was dismissed while playing a slog sweep
Virat Kohli was dismissed while playing a slog sweep
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Kartik Iyer

Harbhajan Singh believes the New Zealand spinners played with Virat Kohli's ego to dismiss him in the T20 World Cup 2021 encounter between the two sides.

Kohli managed just nine runs off 17 deliveries as Team India were restricted to a meager score of 110/7 in their allotted 20 overs. The Indian skipper, who batted at no.4, was kept under a tight leash by the Kiwi spinners throughout his knock.

While reflecting on Virat Kohli's dismissal during a discussion on Star Sports, Harbhajan Singh highlighted that the Kiwis had played with the Indian batting mainstay's psyche. He elaborated:

"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."

The former India spinner added that Virat Kohli was forced to play a shot that was against his grain. Singh explained:

"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."

Singh opined that Virat Kohli's inability to rotate the strike led to his dismissal. He observed:

"Normally, Virat Kohli's singles cannot be stopped. But today, Virat Kohli did not have the space to take singles. Credit to New Zealand's field settings and the way Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi bowled, they didn't give the easy singles, because of that they forced Virat Kohli to play that shot which he never plays."
I have already said, Virat Kohli should Open in T20s. He is the best Powerplay batsman available. It will give him Cushion to play singles in middle overs since he would have good start.Him coming at 6th over in this current form is not at all correct that too on these pitches.

Virat Kohli didn't hit a single boundary during his knock. He failed to open his account in the first five deliveries he faced and didn't score a run in 10 of the 17 balls he played overall.


"They didn't give Virat Kohli any pitched up deliveries" - Irfan Pathan

Virat Kohli is known to gradually build his innings
Virat Kohli is known to gradually build his innings

Irfan Pathan showered praise on the New Zealand spinners for not feeding Virat Kohli in his strong areas. He explained:

"They bowled very well. You talk about the line but the control that was seen even in the length, they didn't give Virat Kohli any pitched up deliveries because they know that Virat Kohli doesn't play the sweep against deliveries that are further away, doesn't use his feet also too much."
Trivia: Only two birthday boys have dismissed Virat Kohli in T20Is - Ish Sodhi today and Tabraiz Shamsi in Johannesburg in 2018.

Virat Kohli fell while trying to push the accelerator pedal on the first ball after the drinks interval. He holed out to Trent Boult at long-on off the bowling of Ish Sodhi.

To see the updated points table of T20 World Cup 2021, click here.


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Q. Was Virat Kohli too circumspect in his approach?

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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