Indian captain Virat Kohli was extremely surprised at the playing conditions and said that several factors were quite surprising during England's clash against India in Birmingham on Sunday (June 30). One side of the boundary measured only 59 metres and this was in violation of the ICC guidelines which say: No boundary should be shorter than 65 yards/59.43 metres.
The hosts won the toss and batted first in these conditions and riding on Jonny Bairstow's century posted 337-- a score which was the highest by a team against India in the ongoing World Cup. India's chase stuttered and despite finding momentum in the middle overs, tapered off towards the end as they ended 31 runs short.
In a very sardonic tone, Kohli did say that the toss was extremely crucial.
'First time we are experiencing this'
"The toss was vital, especially looking at the boundaries that are so short. And it's a coincidence that it just falls under the limitations of the shortest boundary you can have in the tournament. Quite bizarre on a flat pitch, it's the first time we are experiencing this. It's crazy that things fall in place like that randomly," Kohli said after the match.
It was extremely bizarre chase by India - they scored 28 runs in the first 10 overs, but then got moving in the middle overs with Rohit Sharma (102 off 109 balls) and then Hardik Pandya (45 runs off 33 balls) injecting life into the chase. But once Pandya was dismissed in the 45th over, India's chase stalled and Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni did not show any intent as the chase lost steam.
Kohli said, "It's up to the discussions with the two guys who were in there. I think MS was trying really hard to get the boundary but it wasn't coming off. They bowled in good areas and the ball was stopping, hence it was difficult to bat towards the end. We have to sit and assess and improve on things in the next game."
This loss has rekindled England's hope of a semi-final qualification. Also, India now need to win one of their remaining matches against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka while the hosts need to win against New Zealand to seal their own semi-final berth. As things stand right now, Australia are the only side assured of a last-four finish, while Afghanistan, West Indies and Sri Lanka are the three sides which are officially knocked out.