Will Kohli win India the World T20 single-handedly?

319 runs at an average of 106.33 and a strike rate of 129.14. Virat Kohli’s batting stats? Correct.  In the WT20? Correct again.

Except that these are Kohli’s stats from 2014.

He took home the Player of the Tournament trophy then, even scoring 77 in the final. But Sri Lanka took home the bigger prize by suffocating Yuvraj Singh.

In 2014, Kohli nearly carried India to a world title in Dhaka by sheer force of will.  

****

Cut to 2016.

India need to beat Pakistan in a pressure cooker of a game at Eden, the spiritual home of Indian cricket. Chasing 119 in a reduced overs game, we are soon 23-3. Pakistan sniff an upset.

Kohli is still there.

Bit by bit, he digs us out. He nudges, he glides, he sprints between the wickets. And then accelerates at just the right moment. He reaches 50 with a single and salutes Tendulkar who is in the stands. He is not out when we win the game.

He takes home the man of the match trophy.

****

After escaping by the skin of our teeth against Bangladesh, India are in deep trouble against Australia in what is effectively a quarter final. Chasing 161, we are 49-3 in the eighth over.  Yuvraj Singh goes over on his ankle. Yuvraj Singh gets out. The equation reads 67 off 36. The required run rate is soon going over two runs per ball.

But Kohli is still there.

He gets to 50. Doesn’t even lift his bat to acknowledge the crowd. There is a job to be done.

India need 39 off 18 to make it to the semis. In the space of 11 balls, Kohli goes from 50 to 82. India need 4 runs off 6 balls.

India win with 5 balls to spare. Game over, Kohli sinks to his knees. Exhausted.

He takes home the man of the match trophy.

****

184 runs at an average of 92 and a strike rate of 132.37. Those are Virat’s stats from the WT20 2016.

There is no doubt about it anymore. No one even comes close to Virat Kohli while chasing a target. Risk free batting, almost everything along the carpet. Pressure does not seem to affect him. He has reduced chasing targets to a science. Methodical, calculating, beyond words.

The West Indies are next on his hit-list on Thursday at the Wankhede.

And he doesn’t want another man of the match trophy. He doesn’t want another player of the tournament trophy.

Virat is hungry. Virat is (always) angry. Virat believes he was robbed in 2014.

And at the moment, it looks like he is going to try to win this WT20 all by himself.

 

 

3 thoughts on “Will Kohli win India the World T20 single-handedly?”

  1. Really enjoyed this post. But I would definitely say he works when he has to but that doesn’t mean he isnt a team player. It was quite a poor performance from the rest of the team in the two matches you talked about – they are the ones who are definitely not playing as a team leaving Kohli to pick up their slack.

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