Mohali: India’s star batsman Virat Kohli who single-handedly powered his team into the semi-finals of World T20 on Sunday thought that team India were out of the tournament after the first 10 overs of their chase against Australia.
Kohli has no idea how he and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni managed to win that knock-out berth clash against Australia.
“It virtually felt like you are out of the tournament at the end of 10 overs. To pull the game back after that along with MS Dhoni - I don’t know how we did it. Even out there in the middle, I didn’t know how this was happening. I am just grateful that I was able to do it for the team,” Kohli told BCCI.TV after scripting India’s memorable win.
He spoke about how emotional he became once Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit the winning boundary. “It was a pretty emotional feeling when I saw Dhoni hitting the winning runs. I don’t really know what to say.”
“That is the reason you play the sport. That is the feeling that you crave as a sportsperson. It is such a wonderful moment for your team. To see your teammates celebrate and get happy is a wonderful feeling,” added Kohli.
By his own admission, he has “never played an innings” in a situation where 39 were needed in last three overs. “I have never played an innings like that where we needed 39 off 3 overs and I have been able to pull it off with MS Dhoni batting at the other end,” Kohli said after his masterclass that took India into the semi-finals.
Kohli said that he had decided to target James Faulkner in the 18th over. “The thoughts, the pre-planning for the boundary just kept coming to me in my mind. I knew a hundred percent that I had to target James Faulkner in the 18th over. I thought 3 overs and 39 runs, and one over has to be a big one at least close to 15 runs. We got bigger (19) than that. I think just before the 16th over, I thought if we don’t get too many boundaries, we might be struggling in the end because the pitch was not as flat.”
Kohli said that the slower balls were holding up. “The slower balls were holding up. It was very important to stay in the moment and pick your gaps. It was a quick outfield, so I knew if I could beat the fielder inside the ring, I would probably end up getting four runs.” The best part about having Dhoni at the other end is that he pushed for the twos.
“I think what really helped was him (Dhoni) running those twos. The opposition panicked a bit because of that. They were unsettled because they knew we could run the runs as well and get 12 off one over without taking a risk. I think that is when the bowlers started thinking too much,” Kohli said.
(With inputs from PTI)