Indian captain Virat Kohli switched on the ‘God mode’ on Friday as he single-handedly powered India to a thumping victory over West Indies in the first T20I. Chasing a mammoth total of 208 to win, India rode on Kohli’s career-best 94 to gun down the target with eight balls to spare and six wickets in hand in Hyderabad.
More than for his six-hitting abilities or powerful strokes, Kohli is someone who is more popular for his trademark lofted drives and wristy flicks which puts him into an altogether different league. While keeping up with the required run-rate, the 31-year-old somehow struggled in the first half of his innings on Friday.
He continuously tried to hit the ball hard and ultimately ended up in losing his shape which presented a strange picture. Speaking at the post-match conference about his another masterful knock, the Indian captain, however, didn’t want the young batsmen to follow his technique.
“All the young batsmen watching don’t follow the first half of my innings. That was really bad and I was trying to hit too hard,” Kohli said with a smile.
Kohli further explained the logic behind it and stressed on the fact that the team needs to keep up with the required run-rate while chasing a big total. After playing a few dots, he began to settle down and got himself into shape to play the shots.
“It was just about keeping up to the game because I didn’t want to put KL (Rahul) under pressure, so tried to strike at 140 at least, but I couldn’t get going properly. I analysed what went wrong and played accordingly in the second half of my innings. I was trying to hold my shape and realised I am not a slogger, so tried to rely on my timing.”
The right-handed dasher also added that he’s not a player who hits the ball in the air to entertain the crowd but someone who wants to do his job and win matches for the country.
“Whenever I play T20 cricket I am not someone who comes to the ground to hit the ball in the air to entertain the crowd. I focus on doing the job. Our strength as a team is to strike in the latter half of the innings,” Kohli added.
“I don’t want to change my game too much because I play all three formats. I just want to contribute in all three formats, that’s what I want to do. I dont’ want to be a format specialist.”
After hitting Kesrick Williams for a six in the 16th over, a fired-up Indian captain also used his bat as an imaginary notebook to ‘tick’ the bowler’s name off. Kohli later said that he remembered Williams doing the same in Jamaica when the Indian team was there for a tour.
“It’s not the CPL (about Williams’ celebration), it happened to me in Jamaica when he got me out. So I thought I’ll tick a few in the notebook as well, but all good. There were a few words, but smiles at the end,” the Indian skipper said.
“That’s what you want to see. Good competitive cricket but in the end shake hands and give a hi-five. That’s what cricket is all about. Play it hard but have respect for opponents,” he signed off.