Just stand up on your feet (or on your chair, bed, building, whatever..) and applaud the sheer brilliance, tenacity, unbreakable spirit, passion, and a king style attitude of India’s one man army, the john Rambo of Indian cricket team, VIRAT KOHLI. It was supposed to be a team Vs team contest but Virat Kohli has stolen the show on his own lion hearted performance. He came in when India has just lost its opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan and stood their until Dhoni hit the winning runs in his trademark style, a four over long on.
It all started with a toss at the Mohali Cricket Associations I.S. Bindra stadium, Mohali, where the Australian Caption Steven Smith won the toss and in a very aussie way elected to bat first on a pitch which was expected to turn a little bit and help the batsman as well. But the Australian team was facing a self created problem, The curious case of “where should David Warner bat ?” And they have again decided to not to open with their best batsman, instead they have gone with a khawaja-Finch opening pair. Also Shane Watson was moved to no.6 in the previous match and he did quite well there, so it looked quite a good Australian batting line-up with Khawaja, Finch, Warner, Smith, Maxwell, Watson in top six.
The real worry was what should be the bowling line up, should they play with an extra spinner Agar or not, and in the end they have picked Josh Hazelwood. On a turning pitch in Indian conditions, was that a right decision ?? coming at the Indian team, really there is nothing much to talk about as M.S Dhoni never likes to tinker with a winning combination, so he went with a philosophy ,”why to fix something if it has not broken yet ?” Indian team in the fourth consecutive game went unchanged. Harbhajan Singh, Pawan Negi, Ajinkya Rahane, Mohammad Shami were just warming the benches.
Australia had a blistering start as after a great first over by Nehra ji, Australia reached to 50-0 in the fourth over. India’s best bowler and the best spinner in the world R. Ashwin went for 22 in his very first over. Khawaja and Finch were having fun in the middle. After a carnage Nehra provided india its first breakthrough as he picked khawaja. And then india took the control over the game as warner, smith and finch departed in quick succession. Maxwell and Finch tried to build a partnership but Finch perished and Australia reached 100 in 13th over. Then maxi and Watson had a small partnership, but Maxwell was castled by Bhumrah. Watson and Nevill helped Australia to reach 160 in 20 overs by hitting some lusty blows in 20th over. Now India had to score 161 to reach the semi final, it was not going to be an easy task.
Dhawan and Sharma started well, Dhawn hit a magnificent six to Hazlewood. But in the fourth over Dhawan got out playing a hook shot. Then walked India’s Talisman Virat Kohli, he started with a couple of boundries. Sharma was cautious but in the end Watson foxed him with a slower ball. Raina just came to mark his attendance and got out to a short ball, yes, once again. Virat and Yuvraj were playing a safe game but the asking rate was rising up, the pressure was rising up as well. Kohli hit a six to Maxwell to release some pressure and yuvraj followed it with a six as well, but in the process he twisted his ankle and after that he was just a 70% of his capacity. He tried to hang in but ultimately perished to Faulkner.
Virat and Dhoni had an uphill task in front of them. Then kohli went back to basics, he was running like Usain Bolt in the middle, Dhoni and kohli converted 1s into 2s when the boundries were hard to come. Australia were going hard but Kohli and Dhoni gave them a harder punch. The equation was 69 runs of last 6 overs. And then kohli decided enough is enough, I am going to take the charge. He smashed every Australian bowler who came in his way, and all were proper cricketing shots, Dhoni was just keeping him calm. They ran well and hit fours when required. Kohli hit 12 in 18th over and he smashed 16 runs of Nathan Coulter-nile in the penultimate over to bring down the equation to 4 runs needed of last over. Dhoni hit a boundery of Faulkners first delivery to give india a thumping victory, a place in the semi final.
Yesterdays match was a story of an epic encounter by a man over a tough Australian team. Kohli has once again proved that he has no match when it comes to chasing a total. He averages a whopping 120 in winning chases, in the process he hit his 15th half century, most by any player in the world. And rightly so he was adjudged the Man of the Match.
Now india will face the West Indies in the semi final at the Wankhede stadium. Mumbai. Indian batsman apart from Kohli needs to step up, India should go with one more spinner to fox the windies. Lets watch what happens now, one thing is for sure it will be a great contest between the entertainers and the superstars from India. Watch out..!!