Kohli pulls no punches to keep India firing | cricket.com.au

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Kohli pulls no punches to keep India firing

India skipper credits being unafraid to "say things that hurt" to teammates as key to keeping performances up

Virat Kohli says India's Champions Trophy demolition of South Africa was fuelled by his refusal to spare his players from criticism.

Kohli's side crushed South Africa by eight wickets at The Oval in their final Group B fixture to set up a likely semi-final showdown with Bangladesh on Thursday.

India had to win to avoid elimination after slumping to a shock loss against Sri Lanka, a spluttering performance that prompted Kohli to let his team know where they were going wrong.

Rather than sugar-coat his comments to save his players' pride, the India captain made it clear they had to improve and he was delighted with how they responded in the make or break clash on Sunday.

All-star India bundle out South Africa

"You have to be honest. You have to sometimes say things that hurt. That's what I believe in," he said.

"You have to lay it out in front of them that this is what we did wrong, including me, and we need to take it on the chin and accept it and prove it.

"That's why we are chosen among millions of people to play at this level. You have to be good enough to do that for the country and you have to be good enough to bounce back, as well.

"You can't do the same mistakes over and over again. That sort of mindset is really helping all of us to come together as a unit and make things happen.

Kohli duck halts India's fast start

"It's not about asking two, three players to do it. We are asking everyone to do it and everyone is responding really well.

"Until you have a team effort, you cannot win games, especially in conditions that you are not familiar with. Today was a team performance."

With India and Bangladesh joining hosts England in the last four and the winner of Monday's Sri Lanka-Pakistan match taking the final semi-final berth, it's been a strong tournament for the teams from the subcontinent.

Kohli acknowledged the amount of one-day cricket played in the region was a factor, but he has also been impressed with the way India have adapted to the English conditions.

Sri Lanka romp home to record famous upset

"Maybe because of how much limited-overs cricket we play, I think the players are getting more experienced in difficult situations," he said.

"Maybe some of the teams have really surprised the opposition with the way they have batted and bowled in certain situations."

Quick Single: Nothing to do with our composure: AB

South Africa captain AB de Villiers was one of three players run out as his side collapsed to 191 all out.

De Villiers endured a miserable tournament, scoring only 20 runs, while his team came in for heavy criticism after losing twice in three matches.

Proteas rocked by dramatic run outs

However, the 33-year-old insists he is still the right man to prepare the side for the 2019 World Cup.

"It is always very disappointing when we lose but the way we lost was the most disappointing," he said.

"Through soft dismissals we lost our way and that was the part that hurt the most. Run outs happen but three in one innings is not how we want to play our cricket that is for sure.

Quick Single: History of heartbreak for South Africa

"I'm a good captain and I can take this team forward and win the World Cup I believe, I love doing it.

"Not a lot of people believe me but I feel it is pretty close, it is very difficult to say that after a performance like this but that is what I believe in my heart."


Champions Trophy 2017 Guide

Squads: Every Champions Trophy nation


Schedule


1 JuneEngland beat Bangladesh by eight wickets

2 JuneNew Zealand v Australia, no result

3 JuneSri Lanka lost to South Africa by 96 runs

4 June – India beat Pakistan by 124 runs

5 JuneAustralia v Bangladesh, no result

6 JuneEngland beat New Zealand by 87 runs

7 JunePakistan beat South Africa by 19 runs (DLS method)

8 June Sri Lanka beat India by seven wickets

9 June  Bangladesh beat New Zealand by five wickets

10 June England beat Australia by 40 runs (DLS method)

11 JuneIndia beat South Africa by eight wickets

12 JuneSri Lanka v Pakistan, Cardiff (D)

14 JuneFirst semi-final (England v B2), Cardiff (D)

15 JuneSecond semi-final (Bangladesh v B1), Edgbaston (D)

18 JuneFinal, The Oval (D)


19 June – Reserve day (D)


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