Virat Kohli put on a batting masterclass as India beat Pakistan by four wickets in a Super 12 encounter at the MCG on Sunday.
“I honestly have no words. I have no idea how that happened. Hardik kept telling me, just believe we can stay till the end,” Kohli said after his 53-ball 82 propelled India to a nerve-wracking win.
Needing 31 to win off 12 balls, Pakistan turned to their in-form pacer Haris Rauf, who had gone for 21 in 3 overs and picked two wickets. Rauf conceded just three off the first four balls before Kohli turned it on with two back-to-back sixes. Asked about the two sixes he hit off Rauf in the 19th over: “It’s just instinctively I saw it, told myself to stay still. The one at long-on was unexpected, it was a back-of-a-length slower ball. The fine leg one, I just threw my bat at it.”
From 31 for 4, Kohli had a 113-run fifth-wicket partnership with Hardik Pandya, who made 40 off 37 balls. “I think when Shaheen [Shah Afridi] bowled from the Pavilion end, that’s when I spoke to Hardik that we need to take him down,” Kohli said. “And then the conversation was simple. He said [Mohammad] Nawaz has to bowl one over. So I told him if I can take Haris down then they will panic because he was their prime bowler. So I was kind of pumping myself up to hit two sixes when we needed 28 off eight and that became 16 off six.”
“Till today I have always said Mohali was my best innings, against Australia: I got 82 off 52 (51). Today I got 82 off 53. So they are exactly the same innings, but I think today I will count this one higher because of the magnitude of the game and what the situation was.”
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