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Tuesday, December 01, 2020

How Virat Kohli turned a struggle into a carnage: India skipper paces run chase to perfection

Virat Kohli said after his 94* took India to victory in the 1st T20I vs West Indies: "All the young batsmen watching don't follow the first half of my innings." As an analysis of his knock shows, there were three distinct parts of his innings.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: December 7, 2019 7:53:07 am
Virat Kohli reacts during his knock of 94* in the 1st T20I vs West Indies in Hyderabad on Friday (PTI Photo)

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.

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.

The struggle

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.

The carnage

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.

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.

Also Read:

Records broken in IND vs WI 1st T20I: Kohli scales a high, Williams hits a low

The Passion of Kohli: Skipper’s 94* guides India to highest-ever T20I run chase

Watch: Virat Kohli imitates Kesrick Williams after smashing him for six

Floodlight problem or poor fielding? India suffer tumultuous day on field in Hyderabad

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