“Daryl Mitchell lauded him as a world-class player who has earned his place among cricket’s greats,” Daryl Mitchell remarked.
In Dharamsala, Daryl Mitchell, the New Zealand batsman, believed that the standout innings of 95 runs by the Indian cricketing star, Virat Kohli, was pivotal in deciding the outcome of the World Cup match between the two teams.
On Sunday, Mitchell played a brilliant inning of 130 runs off 127 deliveries and built a significant partnership with Rachin Ravindra for the third wicket, helping New Zealand post a total of 273.
However, Kohli’s determination ensured India’s victory, clinching the win in 48 overs.
“Kohli is undoubtedly a world-class cricketer, and his brilliance is evident. Although he missed out on a century, his performance under pressure was crucial for the team’s win,” Mitchell shared after the six-wicket defeat.
Mitchell commended the New Zealand bowlers and observed that the playing conditions improved as the match progressed into the night.
“As Kiwis, we always give our best, continuously trying different strategies and looking for opportunities to claim wickets. I’m immensely proud of our bowling team for their dedication, especially in conditions that seemed to favour batting due to the evening dew,” he mentioned.
The right-handed Kiwi batsman felt they were short by 20-30 runs for a likely victorious total.
“While we always aspire for more runs, I believe the strategy we employed was true to the Black Caps’ style. We’ll continue to adapt and aim to be better prepared for the upcoming matches,” stated Mitchell.
In the earlier part of his inning, Mitchell was notably aggressive against the Indian spinner, Kuldeep Yadav. “I’ve known Kuldeep personally for some time, and off the pitch, we get along quite well. The key is to find ways to exert pressure on their bowlers, and that’s the approach with all opponents, not just Kuldeep. He’s been exceptional for India in recent times, and it’s heartening to witness his accomplishments,” he added.
Commenting on batting alongside the young talent, Ravindra, who scored a brisk 75 off 87 balls, Mitchell said, “Batting with Rach was truly enjoyable. We relished our time in the middle, absorbing the atmosphere of a grand World Cup event with such enthusiastic audiences.”
The 32-year-old Kiwi also praised India’s bowlers for their exceptional performance, particularly in the final overs.
“We had a decent start, comparable to India’s progress at that point. However, India’s death-bowling skills are top-notch, and their performance in the closing overs was commendable,” noted Mitchell.
Discussing the HPCA stadium’s outfield, similar to Mohammad Shami, Mitchell expressed no grievances.
“Dharamsala offers a spectacular backdrop for cricket. The towering mountains are a sight to behold. As Black Caps, we pride ourselves on giving our best on the field, including diving on the boundary to stop the ball, irrespective of the venue,” he emphasised.
A peculiar incident occurred during India’s inning when a sudden, dense fog briefly halted the match. Reflecting on this, Mitchell shared, “It was indeed unusual. I’ve witnessed such an occurrence in first-class cricket at Karori Park in Wellington. Cricket never ceases to amaze, and this was another memorable moment in the game.”