Virat Kohli played an unbeaten 82-run knock against Pakistan© AFP

Virat Kohli was a man on a mission in India’s first match in the 2022 T20 World Cup against Pakistan on Sunday. After months of speculation and question marks on his form, Kohli continued from where he left at the Asia Cup and struck a fine 82* to almost single-handely guide the Rohit Sharma-led side to a four-wicket win against the arch-rivals. Chasing 160, the equation had come down to 28 runs off 8 balls with Hardik Pandya not being able to find the middle of his bat. Kohli was on strike and he was facing the dangerous Haris Rauf. He then hit sixes on the final two balls of the 19th over.

Haris Rauf bowled a slower one on the fifth ball of the 19th over but Kohli backed away to slam the ball down the ground for a maximum. A slower short ball was smashed for straight as an arrow six. He then hit another off the very next ball.

Former India coach Ravi Shastri has praised the two maximums that he hit.

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“In all my years of playing and watching India vs Pakistan, those two sixes off Haris Rauf are two of the greatest shots played by an Indian batsman. The only comparison is Sachin Tendulkar‘s six off Shoaib Akhtar in Centurion in 2003 World Cup. These are two of the greatest cricketers of our time. Tendulkar’s knock had some of the magnificent shots played in white-ball cricket against Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar. And then this Kohli knock. These two are the biggest knocks I have seen where quality fast bowling has been taken apart,” Shastri siad in an interview to Indian Express.

Virat Kohli was adjudged the ‘Player of the Match’ for his effort.

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