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Virat Kohli - Twenty balls of sheer pleasure!

22 Dec 2012, 21:04 IST

Pakistan v India - ICC World Twenty20 2012: Super Eights Group 2

7*4= sheer pleasure!

“Open your thesaurus and start looking for the words! Still, you won’t be able to find enough words to describe this magnificent shot!”

“…Still, the best shot of the day would be the pull-shot played by Virat Kohli!!”

The above words were used to describe the elegance of Virat Kohli, when he mesmerized us with some classy yet terrific hitting of the cricket ball in the ongoing T20 match between India and England. It was a massacre of the English bowling by India’s best limited overs batsman.

India was in a precarious position, having lost Rahane early and were reduced to 7-1 in 2 overs. Gambhir was woefully out of touch, not timing the ball properly. Kohli came in after the fall of Rahane and started stroking the ball effectively right away. He simply continued from where he left off in the last match and made up for that day’s lapse today. It was sheer pleasure watching him bat. The timing and placement were spot-on and the strokeplay was on a different level altogether.

It all started with the flick on the leg side off Jade Dernbach which raced away through the mid-wicket for a boundary. From then on, it was game on for the Englishmen who were butchered by a Tsunami called “Virat Kohli”. Kohli followed it up with a cut, which was beautifully timed and the fielder at Point had no chance. While Gambhir was struggling to get singles, Kohli was just dealing in boundaries.

The next boundary was off Meaker, who tested Kohli with short balls. Kohli responded in kind, with a pull-shot that even Ricky Ponting would be proud of. But Kohli was saving his best for the all-rounder Luke Wright. It was the sixth over, with Kohli firing on all cylinders, when he welcomed Wright with an elegant cover drive, to a ball that was marginally over pitched. The next boundary was off a free hit; Kohli danced down the track to a length ball and muscled it between mid on and mid wicket for a boundary.

“Do not bowl on the pads to him; he will keep hitting you for boundaries all day long!” – Sourav Ganguly

The next one, Luke Wright made the above mistake, bowling on the pads of Kohli. He flicked the ball with disdain and the ball was only too happy to reach the square-leg boundary. Kohli was turning the heat on and it felt like he was running away with the match. His dominance was so effective that nobody paid any attention to Gambhir’s struggles at the other end. The next and the last boundary of his innings was a repeat of the first ball, with Kohli leaning into a ball pitched outside off, to punch it through the covers. The fielder inside the circle got a hand to it but wasn’t able to stop the ball from reaching the boundary.

Unfortunately, it was the last of Kohli’s magic. He got out, trying to flick a straight ball from Stuart Meaker. The beauty of his innings was that none of the shots he hit were slogs, instead he timed the ball well and made it look like he was caressing the ball gently, sending it speeding off his bat to the boundary. He made his mark in the match, setting the innings up nicely for the middle order.

It was twenty balls of sheer pleasure!” - the commentator rightly summed up the innings of Virat Kohli!

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