It was an innings that never really got going for Virat Kohli, especially in the first 20 balls while playing against West Indies in the T20I opener at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad on Friday. During India’s run-chase of 208 runs, after Rohit Sharma got out for just 8 runs, the pressure was on Virat Kohli and KL Rahul to restore normalcy at their backyard.
Indian skipper struggled for timing and it seemed like he lacked the killer instinct to deliver. However, writing off Virat Kohli is definitely not the right thing to do and much to fans’ expectations, the run-machine shifted the momentum slightly in India’s favour by going about his business. He looked like a different player altogether after initial hiccups. He stitched a 100-run partnership with KL Rahul and set the perfect foundation for Team India.
In a record chase in the shorter format on Indian soil, Virat Kohli had a bit between his teeth as he played his career-best knock of unbeaten 94 off 50 balls (6 fours, 6 sixes) in the truncated version, helping India win. The hosts beat the visitors by 6 wickets with 8 balls to spare. Kohli not only helped India take 1-0 lead in the three-match T20I series but also registered his career-best knock in this format.
I don’t want to change my game, says Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli who now has earned 12 Man of the Match accolades to his credit in T20Is- joint highest with Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi expressed that he doesn’t want to be a format specialist as he plays across formats for India. He also added that his only intention is to contribute to the best of his potential in whichever format he plays.
“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 don’t want to be a format specialist. When you are chasing a big total, there are a lot of distractions with the scoreboard pressure. But after a few dots, the game puts you in a position where you just have to hold your shape and play the shots,” Kohli was quoted as saying by Times Now.
The consummate surgeon will be vying to continue his rich vein of form with the willow when he leads his side for the second T20I match at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on December 8. The third and final T20I match is scheduled to play at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on December 11 (Wednesday).
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