ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Virat Kohli’s Knock Got India Over The Line, Says Daryl Mitchell India’s Virat Kohli en route to scoring 95 against New Zealand in Dharamsala in their World Cup 2023 match. (Photo: AP)

Dharamsala: New Zealand batter Daryl Mitchell feels Indian star Virat Kohli’s sublime knock of 95 was the difference between the two teams in their ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 match. Mitchell smashed 130 off 127 balls and shared a century stand for the third wicket with Rachin Ravindra to help New Zealand reach 273 on Sunday.

But Mitchell’s knock did not prove to be enough as Kohli anchored the chase to take India home in 48 overs. “He’s a world class player and he’ll go down as one of the greats of the game for a reason. A very good knock under pressure I thought and although he didn’t get 100, he got his team across the line,” Mitchell said after the four-wicket loss on Sunday.

Mitchell praised New Zealand’s bowling effort and said the conditions got better for batting under lights. “…us as Kiwis, we’ll just keep throwing punches, we’ll keep trying different things and we’ll keep trying to take wickets. I’m just really proud of our bowling unit tonight and how they tried to do that for periods of time and in conditions which probably got better with the dew with the wicket.”

The right-handed batter said the Kiwis were 20-30 runs short of what could have been a winning total. “You obviously always want more runs, but at the same time I thought the platform that we set and the way we wanted to go about it was in true Black Caps style. So, for us, we’ll just keep chipping in and we’ll work on a few things, and we’ll be good to go next time,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell was aggressive against Kuldeep Yadav early on in his innings and the Kiwi said his plan was to put pressure on the in-form Indian wrist spinner. “I’ve known Kuldeep for a while now, he’s a great man and we get on well off the field and yeah for me it’s just keep trying to find ways to put pressure on their bowlers, it’s not just him it’s the same with every bowler that we come up against,” he said.

“It’s about trying to find ways to put pressure on them. He’s done really well over the last few years for India and it’s awesome to see him have some success. You come in with plans, you come up with ways you want to play different guys. And for me today, that was obviously an option that worked.”

Mitchell also praised younger teammate Ravindra for his 87-ball 75-run knock. “It was awesome to bat with Rach, he’s obviously in a rich form at the moment and yeah, we were just having some fun out there and taking in what it is to be part of an amazing World Cup, to play at grounds like this and at crowds like this,” he said.

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