London: Indian skipper Virat Kohli, well known for his inability to control his emotions on the field, tried his best to remain calm and composed after the humiliating defeat to Pakistan in the final of the Champions Trophy at the Oval on Sunday.
His temper was put to test by a Pakistani journalist in the post-match press conference when he asked whether the no-ball in which Jasprit Bumrah got Fakhar Zaman caught behind was the only pleasant moment for him in the match. An angry Kohli retorted: “For whom was the pleasant moment? How can a no-ball be pleasant for me? Was that even sensible (question)?.” Turning to the Indian team media manager he asked: “I don’t know what’s happening.”
Kohli was in no mood to forgive the journalist and went back to him again when talking about Hardik Pandya’s breezy knock.
“When Hardik started hitting, we got the feeling that if we could take the game deep ... that was a pleasant moment, sir, for you,”: he remarked turning to the journalist.
Kohli then regained his composure and calmly answered a query as to how it was to watch his team’s batting disintegrate early.
“It’s always a bad feeling when you get out or the batting doesn’t work collectively, and everyone feels bad about not having contributed to the team in any way. I too felt bad, but then you’ve played enough to understand that your job is done, you’ve tried your best, and then you can’t control anything after that. In the end, one has to accept and admire the skill of the opposition as well; you see they also have come to win a game of cricket. It is not that we are not playing at our best; we tried our level best, but we just couldn’t make things happen today. But personally, yes, it does feel bad. But we also need to understand that you can only control so many things and the game has to move on from here; so that’s the kind of thinking I have when these things happen.”
At one stage Kohli also turned philosophical.
“You will have failures and one team has to lose on any day; today was our day because the opposition played much better than us. They (Pakistan) certainly played very good cricket, and they also needed victories like these for them as a team. You understand those dynamics as a team. When things are not happening you need to win a tournament like this. So credit to them for winning the title today.”
When asked how hard will it be to analyse this defeat, Kohli said: “We analyse our victories. We analyse defeats, as well. You learn with every cricket game that you play. It’s up to you whether you are open to learning things or you’re not. It was a final, so it looks magnified to everyone, but we have won before, we have lost before, and we have always learnt things from all those games. There’s nothing — there’s no game that we play that we feel like, oh, we don’t even need to look back and see what we can improve on, and definitely when you haven’t done things right, more things have gone wrong in a game. We will sit down and analyse and learn from it.”