Don’t Follow The First Half Of My Innings: Virat Kohli After Guiding India To Record Chase With 94 Not Out
It was the opening game of the three-match T20I series between India and Windies that India won by six wickets with eight balls remaining after successfully chasing their record T20I target. The visiting team Windies scored 207/5 (20 overs) in the first innings after losing the toss.
After the opener Rohit Sharma (8) was dismissed cheaply, captain Virat Kohli handled that innings along with another opener KL Rahul. At first, Rahul was dominating in his style while Kohli was struggling to score quick runs. Once Kohli scored 20 runs off 20 balls, later he scored 44 runs off 34 balls, but then he was unstoppable and scored his last 50 runs off just 16 balls.
Virat Kohli and KL Rahul put the 100 runs partnership for the second wicket. After Rahul was dismissed on 62 runs off 40 balls (5 fours and 4 sixes), Kohli took the major responsibility to guide the home team to the comfortable series-leading victory.
While India chased down their record T20I target in 18.4 overs after losing four wickets, Kohli played the remarkable unbeaten knock of 94 runs off 50 balls (6 fours and 6 sixes). After that performance, Kohli undoubtedly won the Player of the Match award.
In the post-match presentation ceremony, Virat Kohli advised the youngster not to follow his first-half batting in that game. He also elaborated why he was struggling at that time to scoring runs.
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 (smiles). 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. But I started to get going after that over from Jason.
“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. Whenever I play T20 cricket I am not someone who comes to the ground to hit the ball in the air to entertain the crowd. I focus on doing the job. Our strength as a team is to strike in the latter half of the innings.”
I don’t want to be a format specialist – Virat Kohli
Talking about his batting, Virat Kohli has clarified that he doesn’t want to change his game too much as he is fully committed in all the three formats. The Indian captain doesn’t want to be a format specialist.
He added, “I don’t want to change my game too much because I play all three formats. I just want to contribute in all three formats, that’s what I want to do. I don’t want to be a format specialist. When you are chasing a big total, there are a lot of distractions with the scoreboard pressure. But after a few dots, the game puts you in a position where you just have to hold your shape and play the shots.”
Virat Kohli’s long-time batting form is proving his full commitment in every format. He is the no.1-ranked Test and ODI batsman. Though Kohli is in the no.15 position in ICC T20I batting rankings, he recently missed some T20Is too. However, Virat Kohli (2,544 runs) is currently just three runs short from the leading T20I run-scorer Rohit Sharma (2,547 runs).
Virat Kohli also spoke about his mocking “notebook tick celebration” to the Caribbean right-arm pacer Kesrick Williams who had the disastrous bowling figures of 3.4-0-60-0. Kohli reminded that it was his reply to Williams’ notebook send-off to him during the Kingston T20I on 9th July 2017. The Indian captain also mentioned, “Play it hard but have respect for opponents.”
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