File image of Babar Azam and Kohli together.© AFP
India passed Pakistan by four wickets on Sunday in their 2022 T20 World Cup campaign opener at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Pakistan stayed in the game for a long time, but with Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 82 of 53 balls, India finally won the final ball thriller. In pursuit of a 160-run goal, India lost their first four wickets for 31 runs in 6.1 overs. This is when Kohli struck a 113-run partnership with Hardik Pandya for the fifth wicket to keep India in the hunt and ensure he stayed there until the end of the game.
It’s worth noting that Kohli hadn’t been able to stay consistent in his at bat in the first seven to eight months of this year, but in the Asian Cup, he emerged as a better hitter. He was the second highest scorer of the tournament.
Kohli played some good shots after that, but he still wasn’t at his best. However, the 82-run knockout against Pakistan on Sunday saw an impeccable and vintage Kohli.
Speaking of his turns, the Pakistani skipper Babar Azam was also full of praise. He believes that such punches give a lot of confidence and raise the mental level of players.
“He had a hard time (in the past) and made a comeback, and now a big turn like this should boost his confidence. When you win games like that for your team, you get a lot of confidence and your mental level also goes up,” said Babar . in Hindi at the press conference.
Speaking of Sunday’s game, India needed 28 runs from the last 8 balls and the game seemed to be slipping out of their hands. This is when Kohli Haris Rauf hit two straight sixes to bring the equation down to 16 needed from 6 balls.
Also in the last over, Kohli hit a six on Mohammad Nawaz to keep India in the hunt. The side eventually won the match on the last ball.
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