At the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday, Virat Kohli played a game-changing innings as he remained unbeaten on 82 off 53 balls to lead India to a surprise victory over Pakistan in their ICC T20 World Cup opener. India was in a bind when trying to reach their 160-run goal after losing both of their openers, KL Rahul (4 runs) and Rohit Sharma (4 runs), early in the game. Kohli commenced the innings slowly in an effort to restart it.
India’s chances were further diminished by the dismissals of Suryakumar Yadav (15) and Axar Patel (2), but Kohli and Hardik Pandya (40) worked together to save India.
The two worked together for a century to maintain India’s dim aspirations. Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf, two pace bowlers, were completely destroyed by Kohli’s brilliant turn in the final overs.
When given the ‘Man of the Match’ award following the game, Kohli regarded his performance as the finest in T20Is during a discussion.
‘Well, the environment is bizarre. Sincerely, I am at a loss for words; I have no idea how that occurred. Hardik continued asking me to have faith and persevere. Seriously, I’m at a loss for words. Well, I believe I told Hardik we needed to take Shaheen down when he bowled from the pavilion end, and that’s when the dialogue took place in which he said Nawaz needed to bowl one over. He claimed that because Haris Rauf is their star bowler, they will panic if I can remove him. I suppose I was motivating myself to hit those two sixes. I’m at a loss for words since it was 28 off 8 then it became 16 off 6.’
‘I just ordered myself to keep still and look at the ball automatically after seeing it. I smashed six runs over fine leg after swinging my bat through the line of the ball. Standing here, it seemed to have been destined to be. It is a very unique time.’
‘I have previously stated that my inning against Australia in Mohali during the 2016 T20 World Cup was my finest. Both yesterday and today, I received 82 off of 52. However, I believe that given the significance of the match and the circumstances, I will rank this one higher going forward. Hardik persisted in pushing me in that partnership even though it seemed impossible, and we just went deep and it just happened’ After the game, tearful Kohli made a statement.