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.”
Kohli had a 113-run fifth-wicket partnership with Hardik Pandya, who made 40 off 37 balls. “I’m lost for words. Well, I think when Shaheen [Afridi] bowled from the Pavilion end, I told Hardik we have to take him down. The calculation was simple. [Mohammad] Nawaz had one over to bowl, so if I could take Haris [Rauf] down, they would panic. It came down to 16 off 6.
“Till today, I said Mohali was my best T20 innings. There I got 82 off 52, and today I got 82 off 53. Both are just as special. All these months when I was struggling, you guys [the crowd] kept me going. Thank you so much.”