• Thursday, Dec 08, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Kohli makes the difference

  • Published at 01:14 pm February 15th, 2015

Virat Kohli was accorded the loudest cheer by a predominantly Indian crowd in Adelaide before their crucial match against archrivals Pakistan yesterday. As expected, the 26-year-old batsman, who arrived at the centre following the departure of Rohit Sharma in the eighth over, dominated proceedings with relentless stroke-making and orchestrated India’s sixth win in a trot against Pakistan in the World Cup.

Kohli reached his 22nd ODI century with a punch off Shahid Afridi towards long-on, allowing the packed gathering at the Adelaide Oval to stand on their feet and applaud the poster boy of Indian cricket. During his 126-ball knock, the right-handed batsman made 107 with the help of eight boundaries. Dropped by Yasir Shah off Afridi on seven and again by wicketkeeper Umar Akmal on 76, Kohli otherwise played within himself and gave few chances in his inning.

Undoubtedly the star player for India, Kohli did not have a great start to 2015. The Delhi lad, however, put behind his recent disappointments and hit the ground running in the very first match. He played aggressively, barely showed his emotions but retained his ever-growing maturity. He once again proved himself as a big-match player, a match-winner and a complete batsman who can adapt to different kinds of situations.

With the century, Kohli saw his name written beside Saeed Anwar, the former Pakistan opener. Anwar was the only player to have scored a century in an India-Pakistan World Cup match. His knock of 101 came in Centurion in 2003. However, his ton went in vain as Pakistan lost that match by six wickets. Sachin Tendulkar’s 75-ball 98 runs in the same match was India’s previous best individual score against Pakistan in a World Cup game.

Kohli’s 183-run knock in the 2012 Asia Cup is the best effort by an Indian batsman against their archrivals in ODIs.

With a technique and temperament to succeed in every condition and format, Kohli cutting loose is one of the most beautiful sights of the modern game.

Yesterday it was the Pakistan bowlers’ turn to watch helplessly. The Pakistan bowlers had very little to offer against a rampant Kohli.

The grand and glittering strokes were sprayed all over the ground in a fascinating cocktail of graceful dominance and silken brutality. Virat Kohli rose to the occasion and with some perfection indeed. 

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