When Australia crumbled…
Virat Kohli’s master class was the answer to a formidable Australian attack, as India won the match to see itself go into the semi-finals. There was a huge craze after the match as fans all over the country went berserk with Kohil’s epic match-winning knock. The unbeaten 82 by Kohli is the top innings by an Indian batsman in successful chases in T20 matches. With this knock, he also entered the second spot of the best ever innings in a successful run chase with only Chris Gayle’s 88 in 50 balls bettering him.
Opposition captain Steven Smith after the match said, “It was a pretty serious innings on wicket which was tough to bat on. I thought we were in a good position with India needing two runs a ball at one stage. It just took an unbelievable innings under pressure by Virat Kohli to get his team over the line. It looked whatever Virat did at that point would go to the boundary. It was a serious innings. Hats off”.
Contrary to the social media rounds about break up with his girl-friend, it is Kohli’s fitness regime that seems to have influenced his game positively. He prefers high protein diet including grilled sea food and chicken. On tours, he reportedly has lamb chops or pink salmon. Unless he is at home, he has a no-oil and no-carbs diet. He stays away from sweets, rotis and rice and junk food, of course.
Virat is also known to work out in the gym for long hours specially working on his upper body and arms to enhance his power-hitting capability. That is perhaps one of the reasons why the ball kept flying into the stands despite miss-hits by the Delhi chap.
Virat might have stolen the show, Sunday night however there is little credit that has gone to Ashish Nehra who is currently enjoying a late surge in his cricketing career. The 36-year old pacer is being looked at India as the one with the experience after Zaheer Khan missing from the scene.
Nehra has been, rather surprisingly, the most economical bowler in this T20 tournament with an average of 5.93, bettering the likes of Dwayne Bravo and Mustafizur Rahman. It is hard to believe but out of the first 18 deliveries that he bowled to the Aussie batsmen, 11 were dot balls. Nehra before the Bangladesh match said h was ‘old school’ however that seems to have helped India in the win effort.
At one stage while chasing, around the 10th over, India was in a dire spot. It was almost as if India were out of the tournament. Virat talking to bcci.tv said, “I have never played an innings like that where we needed 39 of 3 overs and I have been able to pull it off with MS Dhoni batting at the other end”. He summed up his feeling about the match and his innings saying, “This is the reason you play the sport”.
Anjan Kumar Merkap | PGDM 2015-17