Virat Kohli’s 94* helped India make light of the chase of 208 set by West Indies in the 1st T20I in Hyderabad on Friday, but what made the India skipper’s matchwinning knock extra special was how he paced his innings.
The sequence of the balls he faced make for interesting reading – 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 4 1 1 1 1 4 1 1 1 1 1 1 4 1 0 0 6 4 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 6 4 2 1 4 6 1 1 1 6 1 1 2 6 2 6.
Amazing. Just amazing, @imVkohli
— Sir Vivian Richards (@ivivianrichards) December 6, 2019
There were six sixes, six fours, four twos, 26 singles and 8 dot balls. There was not a single dot in the last 25 balls of his innings.
In fact, Kohli was struggling in the first few overs. With Rohit Sharma having departed and a massive target facing India, Kohli, and consequently India, looked to be in trouble. At the end of the powerplay, Kohli’s score was 3 off 8 balls. With KL Rahul having unleashed himself at the other end, India were 50/1.
Speaking after the match, Kohli said, “All the young batsmen watching don’t follow the first half of my innings. That was really bad and I was trying to hit too hard. It was just about keeping up to the game because I didn’t want to put KL Rahul under pressure, so tried to strike at 140 at least, but I couldn’t get going properly.”
Kohli did manage to connect with a couple of deliveries as Rahul kept going at the other end. At the end of 11 overs, Kohli was on 26 off 23 balls. India were 96/1, needing 111 runs in the next 9 overs.
The change in gear
The 12th over signaled a change of momentum. Kohli hit his first six – albeit with a mistimed hook – and followed it up with a four as 14 runs were plundered off the Jason Holder over.
“I started to get going after that over from Jason (Holder). I analysed what went wrong and played accordingly in the second half of my innings. I was trying to hold my shape and realised I am not a slogger, so tried to rely on my timing,” Kohli said later.
Thereon, it was carnage. When Rahul fell in the 14th over, Kohli almost entered into a frenzied mode.
From the 15th over onwards, this was what Kohli’s run sequence looked like – 6 4 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 6 4 2 1 4 6 1 1 1 6 1 1 2 6 2 6.
That talk post the game. If even greats like Kohli can struggle at the start after playing so long, gives us lessons on how to not lose heart, but look to back strengths and come good.#NoteToSelf
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) December 6, 2019
Kohli scored a mind-boggling 68 runs off his last 25 balls as the imposing target set by the West Indies slowly started looking like a few runs too less.
Kohli ended the matter by smashing Kesrick Williams for a six in the 19th over, as India won by 6 wickets and 1.2 overs to spare.
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