Over the course of his 14-year career, Virat Kohlic has built a reputation for finding his best when the going gets tough during a chase. Kohli has seen a dip in form since November 2019. It must be said, however, that the right-handed maverick batter still scored runs, it was just a matter of 100’s that didn’t come. That is the standard and benchmark of Kohli, the batter, that even consistent scores of 70-80 runs were not enough for fans.
However, the current year – 2022 has been a roller coaster ride for Kohli. In the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, Kohli really struggled to keep the ball in the middle, and in 16 games, the former India skipper managed just 341 runs at an average of 22.73 and a strike rate of 115.99. In the ensuing T20I series against England, Kohli looked completely out of place and with Deepak Hooda while he registered a ton against Ireland while hitting No. 3, there were calls that Kohli was not the right fit for the T20 World Cup. Yes, you read that right.
What followed was that Kohli decided to skip the T20I series against the West Indies and then the ODI series against Zimbabwe. His decision to rest was met with lukewarmness, with a number of former players asking him to play if his form wasn’t great.
However, the batter turned his fortunes in 2022 Asian Cup and the tournament saw Kohli register his first T20I ton. He spent his 71st international century against Afghanistan and he marked his return in the true emphatic style Kohli is famous for.
The stage was set for Kohli, on October 23, in the high voltage match against Pakistan, the packed Melbourne Cricket Ground and 90,000 fans in attendance. Kohli couldn’t have wished for anything better. It was a chase, it took the squad 160 to win and the Men in Blue ran into trouble on 31/4 in 7th.
Kohli struggled to get the ball in the middle against players like Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shahi. The batter had 12 of 21 balls and said he thought he had “messed up” the chase. “All these things look great at the end (laughs). To be honest, when I was 12 to 21 I thought, I’m really screwing this game, I’m not eyeing the ball. But then if you experience “That’s when you understand the value of hitting deep. That’s always been my role for India, to hit 16-17 overs. Because I know I can do a lot of power-hitting in the bottom half of the innings,” Star said. Sports after the match against Pakistan.
“And that’s always been my strength. I can also strike at 250-300, when I get really confident and there’s only one guy under pressure and that’s the bowler. So I always try to get to that situation, where I am. Don’t feel pressure I’m not saying I didn’t feel pressure today but then you give us a platform to say then you know what it’s their game to lose now And it was almost their game to lose We waved just through the line of the ball and we knew that when Nawaz threw that no-ball too, I knew and with the goalkeeper behind it. It seemed like this was our moment. And we have to capitalize,” he continued.
All Kohli needed was a skilled partner on the other side, who will send the loose deliveries for the borders. Hardik Pandya was the man for the job, and he did the necessary when Kohli got into the rhythm by running fast one and two. Then there came a moment when Hardik started having a hard time getting the ball in the middle. It was then that Kohli channeled his inner “hunting master”.
If you want to know what kind of talent Kohli has, all you have to do is see the two sixes he hit at Haris Rauf’s bowling alley in the 19th. The comparison was 28 out of 8 balls and it looked like the match is out of reach for India. Kohli, then came out with possibly the shot of the tournament, hitting a slower ball for a back foot six over long-on. The next ball also went for a six and in the final over India needed 16.
In the last over, Hardik Pandya was killed and India needed 13 runs out of 3. And it was clear that if Rohit Sharma & Co. cross the line, Kohli has to be the one to get the team across the line. And this is exactly what happened when he hit Mohammad Nawaz for a six on the fourth ball. What followed was a comedy of errors as Nawaz lost the plot, ballless and wide, and in the end Kohli penned a famous win. In the end, the batter went unbeaten at 82 on only 53 balls.
So it’s no surprise that Kohli has now named this knock as his best in the game’s shortest form. “Until today I’ve always said that Mohali was my best innings, against Australia: I got 82 out of 52 (51). Today I got 82 out of 53. So it’s exactly the same innings, but I think I’ll count this one today. higher because of the size of the game and the situation,” Kohli said.
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