Captain Virat Kohli found consolation in the performance of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, after India slipped to an 18-run defeat by New Zealand in the first World Cup semi-final at Old Trafford in Manchester on Wednesday.
Jadeja shared a century partnership with wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni, as India threatened to reach a 240-run target. The 77 marked a first ODI half-ton in five years for Jadeja, but ultimately was not enough to prevent the Black Caps from advancing to Sunday’s final.
‘In my watching Jadeja for 10 years, me playing with him as well, this is probably his top-quality, like best knock according to me because of the kind of pressure,’ said Kohli.
Kohli, meanwhile, implored Indian fans to be balanced in response to the World Cup exit. India topped the tournament’s 10-team standings on the back of seven wins in nine matches, but were unable to secure a fourth berth in the final.
‘I have always been in favour of a measured reaction and, yes, disappointment is there in a loss but don’t take it to extreme,’ he added.
‘Because many players will not be able to process it. Everything has to be balanced, like we want it to be on the field.
‘It is easy to criticise from the outside when somebody loses and you are put on top when you are winning. But when it happens on a big scale, then it is a national responsibility how you react to the sport you watch.
‘We are not shying away from accepting that we did not stand up to the challenge and we were not good enough under pressure. Accept the failure as it shows on the scoreboard.’
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