“It’s really tough to play against Pakistan, a tight game, and then another tough game against India. Mentally we weren’t prepared, we tried our best, but we couldn’t get there. [Jaded today?] Today we tried our best, but the way KL Rahul and Virat started was tough, and we dropped some catches as well. [Tournament?] We started with high morale. The last few games we also played really well, even though we didn’t finish really well as a team.”
“Coming back after a big injury and surgery, I’ve learnt that it’s not as easy as you think. Finding the same touch or rhythm wasn’t coming as easily as I thought it would. Happy I could find some time in the middle. Once I hit a few in the middle of the bat I started feeling good. [any special shots?] Not really. I think in the Hong Kong game I hit one out of the ground, it felt good. And then hitting a few shots in the Pakistan game gave some confidence. [review of India’s Asia Cup?] The result has been disappointing. We came into the tournament wanting to play the final and the groove of winning big tournaments. There are positives to take out, and we’ve really been challenged. Time to sit back and reflect on where we need to improve, but it’s happened at a really good time – obviously don’t want to lose – but we can take away a lot of lessons.”
Virat Kohli is Player of the Match:
“Firstly I am grateful for how the day went today. Time away from the game gave me a good chance to sit back and observe a lot of things about myself. I mentioned one special person – Anushka – who stood by me through these tough times and I mentioned her as she has seen the absolute raw side of me throughout all these months. She was the one putting things in perspective for me, kept giving me the right kind of guidance, the right kind of vision moving forward and I came back into the system a very relaxed person.
I wasn’t desperate
to prove anything to anyone – in a very real sense, not in a way that ‘I’ve done everything – it’s just about enjoying the game, understanding what God has blessed you with already, and then just being humble and going out there and doing the grind all over again. Today I think was just a build-up of the last few games – I actually batted out of my skin, to be honest, I surprised myself. [Long gap between hundreds?] What actually surprised me was my 60s became failures, which was very shocking for me. I was batting pretty well and contributing, but it didn’t seem to be good enough.
But as I said,
God has blessed me with a lot of good times in the past, and that’s why I’m in this position where these things can be spoken about. I have absolutely no shame in admitting that God is blessing us all with everything in our destiny, we just have to work hard. So I went back to the drawing board, came back fresh, and came back excited. The team management has also had great communication with me through these times, they’ve kept my perspective right. When I came back there was not much information coming my way, they just said ‘you bat and enjoy yourself. So it was just a matter of getting back into the space of enjoyment. [opinion on Asia Cup?] have had many suggestions, and a lot of advice has come my way.
People were telling me
I was doing this wrong, that wrong, I picked out all the videos from the best times I had. It was the same initial movement, same approach towards the ball and it was just what was going on inside my head I wasn’t able to explain to anyone. At the end of the day, you know as an individual where you stand, and what you have to do for your journey, and people will have their opinions. But they cannot feel what you’re feeling. I have felt these last few months in a very different way, which is a very special time in my life. I’m very grateful for that time, my perspective had to change for me to move forward in cricket.”
India vs Afghanistan T20I Highlights today, Thursday 8-9-2022. Super 4 (N), Asia Cup 2022 from Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
(last five completed T20Is, most recent first)
Head to Head In T20I’s:
Afghanistan have won the toss and will bowl first.
Mohammed Nabi: “Left the ground straight after the team talk, had a green tea, and then took some sleeping pills! [laughs] All round the boys have played really well. We’ll try our best to play good cricket against a big team in world cricket. Hopefully, it’ll be another good performance.”
KL Rahul: “We wanted to bat first, challenge ourselves again and put up a target. Rohit just wants to take a break considering the tough conditions here, and the World Cup ahead. We’re trying to finalise the roles that each individual will play in the world cup. Obviously losing is not great but we will grow stronger.”
India team: KL Rahul (c), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant †, Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh.
Afghanistan team: Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmanullah Gurbaz †, Ibrahim Zadran, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi (c), Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Fareed Ahmad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fazalhaq Farooqi.
Match Timings: 14:00 GMT | 18:00 Local
Umpires – Asif Yaqoob, Ruchira Palliyaguruge
TV Umpires – Raveendra Wimalasiri
Match Referee – Andy Pycroft
Reserve Umpire – Gazi Sohel
Match number – T20I no. 1761 – Asia Cup 2022 Super 4
Sanjay Manjrekar has the pitch report: “Brand new surface, no match has been played on it. It’s a massive boundary to one side, but really short on the other. Keeping a left-hand/right-hand combination could be crucial. It’s a pitch that you would describe as a belter, 180 would be par. Win the toss and bowl first.”