Kohli encourages India to be ‘brave’ against New Zealand

2019 Cricket World Cup
Kohli India PA

Virat Kohli has encouraged his India side to be “brave” when they face New Zealand in Tuesday’s World Cup semi-final at Old Trafford.

Kohli led India to top spot during the group stage and the two-time winners will be the favourites to advance through to the final when they take on a New Zealand side that limped through to the knockout stages despite losing their final three group games.

However, New Zealand did reach the World Cup final four years ago and Kohli insists India will not be underestimating the Black Caps, particularly as the pressure will be intensified by the winner takes all scenario.

“In the league stages when you need a victory to qualify the team is a bit more relaxed – you can go out and try a few things,” Kohli told Sky Sports.

“In the knockouts it is a bit different – you need to be precise and at the same time be intense, get that balance. This is more similar to the toughest situations you get in Test cricket.

“Decision-making will be crucial but both teams are experienced enough. New Zealand were in the final last time and know how to play knockout games.”

Kohli certainly believes there will only be fine margins between the two teams on Tuesday and it will be a case of which team is the bravest.

“Whichever team is more brave stands a better chance to win. It’s as simple as who plays better on the day,” the 30-year-old added.