Pakistan put in an all-round effort to beat India for the first time ever in a World Cup match. After restricting India to 151, the Babar Azam-led team went on to win by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare.
Speaking of the defeat, Kohli was unhappy with the execution from his players. "We didn't execute properly. Credit where it's due and Pakistan outplayed us today. They started brilliantly with the ball, and 3 wickets for 20 runs was not a good start. We needed wickets early but with the bat, they gave us absolutely no chances. It played slow in the first half and hitting through the line was not that easy as it was in the second half, after 10 overs," Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
Should India have played another spinner on this track, considering they have Ravichandran Ashwin waiting in the wings?
"We could make the argument of getting in another slower bowler, but it's important to stay composed and understand our strengths, because with the dew the slower bowlers couldn't be effective either. This is just the first game of the tournament, not the last," Kohli explained.
Kohli's counterpart was, however, pleased with the victory, calling it a team effort. Babar and Mohammad Rizwan put on an unbeaten 152-run stand, remaining unbeaten on 68 and 79 respectively.
"This was the team's effort, and the early wickets were very helpful. It gave us a lot of confidence and our spinners were very good as well. We applied our plans and got the results. We, the openers, kept it simple and built a partnership and because the wicket was getting better so we just wanted to keep batting till the end, which we did," Babar said.
However, the star of today's match was pacer Shaheen Afridi who bamboozled the Indian openers early on and then returned to get the big scalp of Kohli for 57. He said the plan initially was the swing the ball and bring it back into the batsmen.
"Very happy with my performance. The plan was to bring the ball back in. I was just trying to swing it and I was just looking to give the team a breakthrough. That was what I practiced in the nets as well yesterday. Batting against the new ball was tough. The credit goes to Babar and Rizwan for the way they played," Afridi said.
India have a week until their next game, which is against New Zealand in Dubai, while Pakistan take on the Blackcaps on Tuesday (October 26) in Sharjah.