Having finally found his footing ahead of the T20 World Cup, Virat Kohli was in brilliant form during the third T20I in Hyderabad as Team India defeated Australia by six wickets on Sunday. The win helped India secure a 2-1 win in the three-match T20I series and Kohli once again justified his selection with a blistering knock. Chasing a target of 187 runs, India reached 187 for four in 19.5 overs with the former captain hammering 63 runs off 48 balls, batting at no. 3. His action-packed innings also included three fours and four sixes, and he was eventually dismissed by Daniel Sams.
After the match, the 33-year-old received plenty of praise from former cricketer Ajay Jadeja. Jadeja explained how Kohli has become the ultimate ‘chase master’ since MS Dhoni’s retirement. Speaking on Cricbuzz, he said, “I mean that’s the key to Indian cricket. I mean it’s been that for a while, for a long time. I mean there was a period where Virat Kohli would score runs and if there was anything, MS Dhoni would finish it off at the end.”
“But now with the personnel changing around Virat Kohli it’s made it easier for him and it’s made it easier for everyone else around him to play at a whole different ball game and the solidity that Virat Kohli provides and and for me it’s always been the solidity of Virat Kohli not the striking ability. That’s why he was a cheese master. He is a chase master. He understands the pace of the game. He may not have the striking ability that a lot of players have around the world and in that Indian team but there is no one else that I know who has the consistency of Virat Kohli.”
“So if consistency is what you want, this is your man and he’s not shown it today, he’s been showing it to you for 10, 12, 15 years. It’s just that when you expect him to do what the others do, that’s when the trouble begins”, he further added.
Suryakumar Yadav also smacked a crucial knock of 69 runs off 36 balls to help India win the match. Meanwhile, a three-wicket haul by Axal Patel helped India restrict Australia to 186 for seven in 20 overs. Tim David and Cameron Green played entertaining knocks for the hosts, registering 54 and 52 runs respectively.
Stating how Kohli’s dip in form was never about his ‘game’ but ‘it was more mental’, Jadeja continued, “You know we heard just before that Asia cup when he came out and talked about his issues. It was never the game, it was more mental and once you get over that barrier it just releases you and ever since then he’s just carried on doing what he does best. Of course, that hundred came which surprised him more than anyone else because this format is not what he was expecting it to do it. But it just takes the monkey off the bag you know. That number of that 100 was there so now even if it’s not 100 ,if it’s a 30 it looks good, it’s 60, looks good, everything else looks good. I think he’s found within that team a confidence that this team has had with players.”
“A lot of people don’t agree with how they play or what the style is going to be but they seem to be happy in that position, they would like to play like that. I think that’s the ultimate
because if you as players believe in something even if it’s wrong or right, somebody else may think it’s wrong or but unless you believe it’s right, it’s not going to happen as often as some you’re doing it because somebody else believes this right. Yes, this is this is one thing that you see out of this team coming out”, he further added.