The Virat Kohli-led Team India had a disappointing outing on Sunday once against as they suffered an eight-wicket defeat against New Zealand in their second game of the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the UAE.
After losing to arch-rivals Pakistan on October 24 (Sunday), Team India once again succumbed under pressure before the Kiwis following which, it was heavily criticised on social media platforms.
What happened worse for the Men in Blue that even if the Virat Kohli-led side wins all of their remaining three matches, it won’t be enough to secure them a place in the semi-finals of the showpiece event.
After this, former England captain Kevin Pietersen appealed to the fans to support Virat Kohli and co. Team India.
“There is a winner and a loser in the game. No player goes out to lose. It is the greatest honour to represent your country. Please realize that the people in the game are not robots and they need support at all times,” tweeted Pietersen in Hindi.
Meanwhile, former Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh urged the fans not to be too harsh on the players as they are the ones hurting the most after the wight-wicket loss.
“Let’s not be harsh on our players. Yes, we know them for better cricket. Sabse jyada players ko hurt hota hai after such results. but well done to @BLACKCAPS NZ for winning the match. they were fantastic in all departments,” tweeted Harbhajan.
What was interesting to see that even Pakistani crickets came to support the Kohli-led Indian team.
Pakistani bowler Mohammad Amir wrote on Twitter: “I still believe India is the best team, it is just a matter of having a good time or bad time.”
Throeing light on the online hate directed towards the players, Amir said that abusing players and their families “is such a shame.”
“Don’t forget [at the] end of the day it’s just a game of cricket,” he added.
Similarly, batter Azhar Ali said that the situation is not looking good for India. “It’s not looking good for India…but we all want India to stay in the tournament,” he wrote on Twitter.
He also felt that that the ongoing showpiece event would lose its charm if the Men in Blue makes an early exit from the tournament.
“This early exit of India won’t be good for the event,” Ali added.
Earlier, skipper Kohli had admitted that his side wasn’t brave enough in any department of the game.
“I don’t think we were brave enough with bat or ball. We didn’t have much to defend but we weren’t brave when we walked out to field. When you play for the Indian cricket team you have a lot of expectations – not just from fans, but players as well,” Kohli said after the defeat against the Kiwis.
“So there’s always going to be more pressure with our games and we’ve embraced it over the years. Everyone who plays for India has to embrace it. And when you cope together as a team you overcome it and we haven’t done it these two games. Just because you’re the Indian team and there are expectations doesn’t mean you start playing differently. I think we’re fine, there’s a lot of cricket left to play,” he added.
Notably, after being asked to bat, India were restricted at a paltry 110/7 in 20 overs as Kiwi pacer Trent Boult and spinner Ish Sodhi starred with the ball before opener Daryl Mitchell’s unbeaten 49 guided the Black Caps home comfortably.
India will next face Afghanistan on Wednesday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The Kohli-led side is currently placed at the fifth position in Group 2 of the Super 12 stage with a Net Run Rate (NRR) of -1.609.