Mohali | An emotional and overwhelmed Virat Kohli termed his exceptional 82-run knock against Australia as his best in Twenty20 internationals.
Australian attack fizzled out in front of Kohli onslaught as he single-handedly led India to the semifinals of the World Twenty20 Sunday.
This innings has to be in my top three, perhaps the top right now because I’m a bit emotional, Kohli said after being adjudged Man-of-the-match.
Kohli said challenges and tough situations are imperative to improve apart from acknowledging support of the fans.
I would like to thank the crowd, it was unbelievable, the support helps you push through those tough times. This is what you play cricket for. You need challenges in every game, they improve you as a cricketer. I don’t know what to say, I am overwhelmed, he said.
Kohli also pointed out that presence of cool-headed skipper MS Dhoni at the other end was very crucial for him.
Yuvi had a good partnership and then MS kept me calm I could have got very excited. It’s a team effort, he said.
Asked about his and Dhoni’s electrifying running between the wickets, Kohli said, We have always run well, we have a great understanding. That’s why you train in the gym, that’s why you have those sprints, you have those fitness regimes. All of those paid off today.
Earlier, after restricting Australia to 160 for 6, Kohli (82 not out) provided the spark with a superlative display of batting to help India overhaul the target with five balls to spare in a thrilling showdown at the I S Bindra Stadium.
India turned the game on its head in the last four overs with the flamboyant Kohli unleashing a flurry of shots to take the game away from the Australians much to the delight of the capacity home crowd.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (18 not out) hit the winning runs — a four — to the wild celebration at the Indian camp as well among the vociferous crowd.
India, who finished second in Super 10 Group 2, will take on the West Indies in the second semifinals in Mumbai on March 31. New Zealand take on England in the first semifinals on March 30 in New Delhi.
Let down by a poor start, India were left to get 39 in the last three overs but Kohli got the team home to 162 for four in 19.1 overs. His 82 not out came from 51 balls, studded with nine fours and two sixes.
The 18th over bowled by James Faulkner went for 19 runs and that swung the game in the home team’s favour.