chhetri

India's Mahendra Singh Dhoni (left) and India's Ravindra Jadeja celebrate reaching a 100 partnership during the 2019 Cricket World Cup first semi-final between New Zealand and India at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on July 10. (Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI (IANS) — Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri has lauded the national cricket team and its skipper Virat Kohli for their effort in the World Cup, where they crashed out in the semifinal after losing to New Zealand July 10.

"This team you've led has played the kind of cricket to make all of us proud, @imVkohli. It was a fantastic journey that fell a few yards short, but I'm sure you boys will pick yourselves up soon. Very proud of Team India," Chhetri tweeted.

India came into the tournament as one of the favorites to lift the crown. Throughout the group stages of the 10-team event, the Men in Blue played true to their favorites tag by winning seven of the eight games with the one against the Kiwis getting called off due to rain. They lost to England, but still managed to top the group with 15 points from nine matches.

In the semifinal against New Zealand, who reached the knockouts by the skin of their teeth after finishing fourth, India were overwhelming favorites to win. But despite restricting the Black Caps to 239/8 in 50 overs, India were blown away by the Kiwi bowlers led by Matt Henry (3/37) on the reserve day after play could not be completed on the first day due to inclement weather.

India lost four top order batsmen for just 24 runs inside 10 overs before Ravindra Jadeja (77) and M.S. Dhoni (50) shared a 116-run seventh wicket stand to raise hopes for an unlikely victory. However, it wasn't enough in the end as India fell short by 18 runs.

Chhetri is currently with the Indian football team in Ahmedabad where they are taking part in the four-nation Intercontinental Cup.

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