The world is still recovering from the hangover that was Sunday’s India vs Pakistan Super 12 match at the T20 World Cup. The greatest rivalry lived up to its hype with India avenging their defeat from last year’s World Cup with a four-wicket win in an absolute thriller at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The match went down to the wire as India sealed the win off the last delivery of the contest with Virat Kohli led the way with an unbelievable knock of 82 not out off 52 balls.
It was a match that saw the return of Kohli the chase-master. With 28 needed off eight balls, India’s chances appeared slim but a couple of magical sixes by Kohli off Pakistan speedster Haris Rauf completely changed the scenario. Kohli smacked Rauf straight down the ground, a shot that got the internet talking, and followed it with a waft over fine leg as India collected 12 off 2 balls, bringing the equation down to 16 needed off the final over.
India eventually achieved the target but Kohli’s back-to-back sixes became the talk of the town. Former India captain and batter Dilip Vengsarkar in fact, is out of words to describe the two glory shots by Kohli although he insisted that in order to pull them off, you needed to have the world’s best batsman do it.
“It feels great to see him perform like that yesterday. I always had faith in his ability. I don’t have words to describe those shots that Virat executed. Only the world’s best batsman can do it, especially in such a do-or-die situation. In such moments, you have to bring something extraordinary within you and that’s what he did. It was simply outstanding,” Vengsarkar told The Khaleej Times.
“The big matches and the big occasions bring the best out of Virat. That’s the hallmark of all great players. All the great players the game has seen over the years, they get themselves in a different zone mentally in crunch moments. That’s what I saw in Virat yesterday in the last three-four overs when he was absolutely different Virat. He was in a different zone. The only object he saw was an Indian victory, he knew he had to win the match. It was very important for him and it brought out the best in him.”
Many believe that it the best T20 innings of Kohli’s career, besting his unbeaten 82 against Australia in Mohali during the World T20 2016, including the man himself. Vengsarkar too lauded Kohli’s knock of the highest quality but refrained from giving a straightforward answer as to whether he things if it’s his greatest innings of all time.
“This I will rate among the best I have seen because of the occasion and because of the platform. It was the first match of the World Cup. It’s a massive stage, scoring those runs when you had your back to the wall. It was completely out of the top drawer,” mentioned Vengsarkar.