What is it about Virat Kohli and a run-chase? What is it about Virat Kohli and a run-chase in T20s? And, what about his love-affair with Mohali? A few days ago, Virat Kohli shared a photo reminiscing about the 82* off 51 he scored at the expense of Australia in the World Twenty20 three years ago. The picture, of course, garnered attention for different reasons (Read: Dhoni retirement- Error 404) altogether.
A game I can never forget. Special night. This man, made me run like in a fitness test 😄 @msdhoni 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/pzkr5zn4pG
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) September 12, 2019
And, in the euphoria of a potential Dhoni press-conference (which never happened) we missed out celebrating what should be a tutorial taught to all budding cricketers; that 82* off 51. On Wednesday, Virat Kohli wrote another chapter in the ever-increasing volume of the tutorial. And, the beauty of it is, it looked just another walk in the park.
There are very few things in life better than watching Kohli go about his way in a run-chase in T20Is. In a format where batsman goes about slam banging the hell out of everything, Kohli doesn’t compromise on the purity of shot-making, and yet is ridiculously successful. It’s madness but there is a method it. It is almost like there is a computer which gets auto-tuned according to the situation of the game.
Virat Kohli in T20Is-
While Chasing – 30 innings, 15 50s, Only three scores < 20
Successful chases – 23 innings, 12 fifties, Only one score < 20
Wickets down, need to re-build a bit? Ahh! The good old rotation of strike becomes his best friend. Dab, One! Flick, Two! Ultimately forcing you to bowl in his zone where he would either nonchalantly whip you off his legs to square-leg, as he did to Rabada yesterday, or if there is the width on offer he would back away and pick you over wide long-on, as he did to Faulkner three years ago or the Proteas fast bowlers on Wednesday. If you pitch it full then the cover-drive or the on-drive is always there.
Simple, right? No risk cricket? Yea, to go against the adrenaline rush in a high-pressure T20 game where the crowd is calling for your head after every ball that you waste, to trust your instincts and your plan and go about executing it nine times out of ten, taking incredible mental resolve, fitness, skills, and temperament.
Kohli’s domination in a run-chase
|In a successful run-chase||25||23||1115||111.50||131.48||12|
And, it has been the story of Virat Kohli’s T20I career thus far. The Indian captain averages a ridiculous 81.23 in run-chases for India which goes up to a measly 111.50, and unlike One-Day cricket where you may turn around and say that he failed in big matches like the 2015 and 2019 World Cup semifinal or the 2017 Champions Trophy, it’s not the same in T20I cricket.
The player of the tournament in the past two WT20s, Kohli’s innings in a run-chase against South Africa (72* off 44 balls) in the 2014 WT20 semi-final and then versus Pakistan (55* from 37 balls) and Australia in the succeeding event came in must-win encounters for his side, and the way they were achieved was symbolic of the method to his madness, like it was in Mohali.
And, by God! Don’t you just dream of doing that in your respective field: A sustained period of excellence achieved by a relentless execution of a plan? We all do while gushing about the incredible ease and finesse that the man displays, every time he walks out in a run-chase.
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