India beat West Indies by six wickets chasing 208 in the opening T20I of a three-match series in Hyderabad on Friday. Once again the man who anchored the run chase was skipper Virat Kohli.
He took home the player of the match (POTM) award as well. But initially, Kohli was struggling to get going. He was happy to play second fiddle to opener K.L. Rahul who was striking the ball well. Moreover, only after facing 15 balls did the Indian captain's strike rate touch the three-figure mark.
Kohli was batting at 21 off 21 balls at one point and India needed 117 more runs to win from 58 balls. The next delivery he faced was bowled by Hayden Walsh Jr. It was back of a length, outside off and Kohli almost played the ball onto the stumps as an under-edge headed towards the boundary.
A couple of stares, a brief exchange with Williams and a fired-up Kohli came up with a masterclass to stun the Windies.
With Kohli having got his eye in, India needed 85 off 42 balls and in the next 29 balls, the India skipper smashed 73 runs to finish off the run chase with eight balls remaining. With an unbeaten 94 off just 50 deliveries, Kohli also reached his highest T20I score.
"To young batsmen watching, don't follow the first half of my innings," the 31-year old Indian batsman said after receiving the POTM award with a huge smile on his face.
"The aim is not to play slam-bang cricket. One of Rohit or I have to play long in this team. That's the role I play in every team I play in. Basic funda is that I don't want to change my game too much for T20Is. I'm an all-format player," the India skipper said.