“I was pumping myself to hit two sixes when we needed 28 from eight and it became 16 from six”
“A lot of credit to Hardik”
The task seemed “impossible” at one point, admitted Kohli. Halfway through the chase, India needed balls 115 from 60. Kohli was on 12 from 21 and later admitted he “felt a lot of pressure”. It was Hardik, Kohli said, who changed the mood as soon as he came to bat.
“I think a lot of the credit goes to Hardik,” Kohli said. . Let’s dig deeper, it can happen, we can do it. Honestly, I felt a lot of pressure at this point. Because I’ve been in those situations quite a bit. So I understand that as a senior player, guys have been playing for so long, a lot of expectations, a lot of responsibility on you.
“But then when he (Hardik) came on and he had some limits, I sort of opened up. It’s T20 cricket at the end of the day, we have to reach the limits, you have to go up ‘to the bowlers. But that partnership – when it got to 100, we didn’t even realize it because we were just enjoying soaking up that pressure together and kept talking, running hard. And we kept on watch their body language. And we knew that was going to change at some point. To be honest, it came quite late. I wish we had done it sooner, but we couldn’t have afforded more wickets at this stage.
India needed 54 from the last four overs and it looked like Pakistan had the advantage. Except there was still an over from left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz on the left, and he had been the weak link in the attack. But even before Nawaz arrived, Kohli brought India back into the game with a straight six on the last two balls in the 19th, bowled by Pakistan’s top bowler Haris Rauf.
“I think when Shaheen [Shah Afridi] thrown from the end of the clubhouse (18th over), that’s when I spoke to Hardik that we had to bring him down,” Kohli said. “And then the conversation was simple. He (Hardik) said Nawaz had to knock one down. So I told him if I could beat Harris, they would freak out because he was their best pitcher. So I kind of pumped myself up to hit two sixes when we needed 28 over eight and it became 16 over six. »
The two sixes against Rauf — one on the ground and the other on a thin leg — were instinctive, Kohli said. “It’s just instinctively I saw the ball and I told myself to stay still. The long one was unexpected. It was a slower ball on my back. And the next one I just swung my bat across the line of the ball and he flew over the thin leg. Now, standing here, I just feel like it was meant to be. It’s a very, very special moment.
master of the hunt
Kohli earned the nickname “King Kohli” due to his ability to pace the chase perfectly in the ODIs. Tonight was the 18th time in his T20I career that Kohli remained unbeaten in a pursuit, and India won each time.
“I have to be there at the end, it’s just a statistic,” Kohli said with a laugh. “Listen, I love those situations. I love having a score on the board because it kind of allows you to understand the conditions, to understand the dimensions of the court, to understand the bowling offense, and then to know exactly what to do at what stage.
“A lot of people talk about pressure while hunting. For me, it’s clarity. You know exactly what you have on the board, and you just need to get it. So it’s a difference in perspective, which always helped me. And I Like these challenges, I’m very proud of them. These are the kind of games you play cricket for. After 14-15 years you need challenges like this for you wake up one more time and be like, you know, let’s go again.”
This clarity of thought could be seen when Kohli changed his bat immediately after Rauf’s third during the middle phase of the chase. Kohli said Rauf, Afridi and Naseem Shah all play extremely fast so he needed a lighter bat. “When the situation was such that you had to hit the big guys, I changed bats, I was playing with a lighter bat because all three of them were going over 145 km / h. I was like, just swinging the line on the ball. And I kept believing in myself. Those two shots at Haris Rauf were when I was just talking to myself – “you have to hit those sixes here otherwise there’s no chance, we’re going to win this game.” And I told Hardik if we could go to him (Rauf), and if he goes for a big over, they’ll panic a lot. And that’s exactly what happened.”
Seizing the moment is Kohli’s other great strength. By the time Nawaz came to play the game’s final, Kohli knew Pakistan had lost their temper as they experimented with the pitch without a clear plan. But Kohli pointed to a bigger factor: the advantage of a deep-playing batter despite recent debate over the role of an anchor in T20 cricket.
“All those things look good in the end (laughs). To be honest, when I was 12 out of 21, I was like, I’m really ruining this game, I’m not shooting the ball in spaces. But when you have experience then you understand the value of hitting deep. It’s always been my role for India, to beat 16-17 overs. Because I know I can hit a lot of hard shots down the second half of innings. And that’s always been my strength. I can hit 250-300 too, when I get really confident and there’s only one guy under pressure and that’s the bowler So I’m still trying to get to this situation, where I don’t feel any pressure I’m not saying I didn’t feel any pressure today, but then you gave us a platform to then say, you know what, it’s their game to lose now and it was almost their game to lose the line of the ball and we knew when Nawaz also threw It was that ball without a ball, I knew that and with the keeper standing there. You know, it’s our time. And we have to capitalize.”
Kohli played some of his best innings, particularly in Test cricket, in Australia and he said it was “one of the best nights” of his life.
When asked to rank the innings against Pakistan at the MCG, Kohli put it ahead of his previous favorite against Australia at Mohali in the 2016 T20 World Cup, which coincidentally was also an unbeaten 82. with India struggling in a pursuit of 161.
“Until today, I always said Mohali was my best set, against Australia: I got 82 out of 52 (51). Today I got 82 out of 53. Those are so exactly the same innings, but I think today I’ll be counting this one higher because of the scale of the game and the situation.”
Kohli acknowledged the contribution the crowd of over 90,000 made to the occasion, calling it “phenomenal”. “You have been supporting me, you have shown me so much love and support during all these months where I was in a bit of trouble, you have continued to support me. And I am very grateful for your support. Thank you .”
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