How Virat Kohli's alleged arrogance motivated Lendl Simmons in World T20
Lendl Simmons was set to miss out on the 2016 T20 World Cup that was held in India due to problems with his back. But, he somehow made a recovery and was available for selection, showing his incredible dedication and motivation to play for the West Indies.
India faced the West Indies in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup, entering the match as favourites. Virat Kohli was in sublime form as he dragged the Indian team to semi-finals after defeating Australia in the last game of their Group to clinch a spot in the knockout round.
Having set a target of 193, it looked like India were going to qualify for the finals. West Indies were in dire need of someone to lift the team after having lost Chris Gayle early. They were 19 for 2 after just for three overs when Simmons was allegedly riled by Virat Kohli.
He was full of rage which fueled his performance as he went on to score 82 runs in just 51 balls to inspire his team to knock out the favourites for the tournament and smashing the hopes of a billion people. The West Indian revealed how an “arrogant” Virat Kohli motivated him to play the match-winning innings in Mumbai.
Reflecting on that memorable evening, Simmons was quoted by Cricinfo: "When he fielded, he said something to me, and I said to myself, 'I'm going to show you you're not the only good batsman.'" The batsman also reckons Kohli kept throwing the ball at his end to try and get under his skin. "That's the way he is. He's very arrogant, he's very aggressive when he fields, and when he bats as well. He's just a very aggressive person.”
The West Indian further added, "Those things motivate our players and it certainly motivated me. That really urged me to bat the way I did - to show him that he's not the only one who can do it. That played a big role."
Fortune favours Simmons
Simmons had a fair bit of fortune on his side too, as he was caught off no-balls twice. To this day, he describes the match against India in the semi-finals as the highlight of his career. He said, "Every cricketer has his day and you just need to cash in when it is your day," Simmons said. "I took full opportunity of that to bat until the end. It was mind-blowing doing that with all those people supporting India and being very loud. It was the highlight of my career."
The West Indian attributed the success of his national team’s performances in T20 due to their playing style. He said, "It's because of the way we play our cricket - we are aggressive, very sprightly, and that's how we are. We're not good at Test cricket right now, but T20 is right up our alley."