Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has revealed why he backed Virat Kohli to come out on top even when he was struggling with the bat. Ponting believes that the best players tend to find a way to succeed, as evidenced by his breathtaking knock against Pakistan at the Melbourne MCG.
Kohli has been in brilliant form in the ongoing T20 World Cup and is currently the highest run-getter with 220 runs from four games.
The right-handed batter started his campaign with an unbeaten 82 against Pakistan, helping India win a thriller. He followed it up by scoring two more unbeaten fifties in the next three games.
Ponting stated that the former Indian skipper has been a top player across formats for a long time and that he never doubted Kohli's ability. The Tasmanian believes Team India are reaping the rewards of putting their faith in him.
The former Aussie batter was quoted as saying by the ICC:
"He's been a champion player of the game in all three formats for a long period of time. One thing I've learnt about champion players, in this game in particular, is you just never write them off.
"They always tend to find a way, particularly when it matters most, to dig deep enough and find a way to get a job done. India now, I think, are reaping the rewards of keeping him there and if they go on to the next stage then I'm sure he'll produce something big in one of the finals as well."
"If you wind the clock back about a week, start of this tournament; India, Pakistan, right here at the MCG - that was what I thought might happen. I've also learned about the T20 game over the years that I've been involved, is it's more of an older man's game, or older person's game, than a young man's game.
"Just with the knowledge and the know-how and the expertise in situations like Virat has been confronted with a couple of times."
India's fourth game of the tournament against Bangladesh in Adelaide earlier in the week saw Kohli become the highest run-getter in T20 World Cup history, going past Sri Lankan legend Mahela Jayawardene's tally of 1016 runs.
"It’s a great learning experience for Virat as a cricketer" - Ricky Ponting
Ponting also sees the star batter's lean run as a learning experience to become a better player again for his team and fans. The 47-year-old elaborated:
"It’s a great learning experience for Virat as a cricketer, to actually get to a point in his career when he had to change, had to do something different. We know he's always been a really hard worker, he's always been fit, always looked after his diet and been a great trainer.
"That worked for him up until a certain period of time where he had to look elsewhere and find other ways to get back to being a great player again. At the end of the day, we all play the game to try and do the right thing by our family, by our teammates and our fans."
India will face Zimbabwe in a must-win clash on Sunday, November 6, to progress to the semi-finals of the ongoing T20 World Cup.