IND vs AUS 2022: " Would have been under a lot of pressure, but dealt with it like a champion" - Salman Butt on Virat Kohli's return to form

India v Australia - T20 International Series: Game 3
Virat Kohli scored a sublime half-century against Australia in the series decider. (Pic: Getty)

Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt has reserved high praise for Team India's Virat Kohli following his stunning half-century in the T20I series decider against Australia on Sunday, September 25.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Butt highlighted that Kohli would have been under some pressure ahead of the third T20I, as he had failed to make a significant impact in the first two fixtures. He also noted that the right-handed batter had to face leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who has dismissed him several times in the past.

He lauded the former Indian skipper for delivering in the crucial game to help his side clinch the three-match series by a 2-1 margin. Butt opined that the 33-year-old has been bettering his game on a consistent basis and said:

"Kohli is getting better match after match. It was a high-pressure game and India were chasing a stiff total against a strong Australian side. He also hadn't scored runs in the first two games.
"He had to face Zampa, who has proved very successful against him in the past. He would have been under a lot of pressure, but dealt with it like a champion."

Kohli, who had scores of two and 11 in the first two encounters, bounced back with a scintalting half-century in the series decider. He scored 63 off 48 balls and was instrumental in India chasing down Australia's total of 186.

"A great sign for Indian cricket" - Salman Butt on Virat Kohli's recent performances

Butt said that Kohli is playing the anchor's role well in T20Is due to the presence of swashbuckling batters like Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav in the side.

Butt mentioned how Kohli was able to counter Zampa with his attacking approach, hitting a glorious six down the ground. He also stated that the batter showed great composure in the final over, clearing the ropes on the very first ball to tilt the game in India's favor.

He added:

"Virat Kohli anchored the innings really well. His return to form is a great sign for Indian cricket. He is taking the innings deep and can afford to do that as there are other players like Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya in the middle order.
"He usually gets out to Adam Zampa, but he hit him for a massive six this time. He hit a very crucial six in the final over under pressure."

Notably, Kohli's lean patch came to an end at the Aisa Cup 2022 last month as he finished as the leading run-scorer for India in the continental tournament, mustering 276 runs, including a century, from five outings.

He is expected to play a major role for India at the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar