T20 World Cup 2022: Former New Zealand cricketer Ian Smith praised Virat Kohli for playing the incredible 82-run knockout against Pakistan in the MCG.
New Delhi,UPDATED: Oct 24, 2022 21:34 IST
Ian Smith praises Kohli for hitting Haris Rauf’s back-to-back sixes in IND vs PAK. Courtesy: AP
By India Today Web Desk: Former New Zealand cricketer Ian Smith praised Virat Kohli for playing a masterful knockout against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. After Kohli’s undefeated 82-run knockout, India defeated their arch-rivals by four wickets in the T20 World Cup 2022 Super 12 match.
Among the shots Kohli played, Smith said Haris Rauf’s in the penultimate pass stood out. With 28 runs to win the last eight balls, Kohli hit the Pakistani pacer for two back-to-back sixes, reducing the goal to 16 from the last left.
To start, Kohli went to the center and cleared the long boundary, then an elegant flick of his club went all the way over the ropes. From that moment on, the Men in Blue never looked back and won the match.
“I listened to the first part of his interview and he said ‘I’m lost for words’. I think that shows for all of us that he thinks it’s very special, he thinks it fits there because of the occasion and atmosphere. If If it’s not in the top 3, I’d be very surprised,” Smith said in the ICC review.
“The way he finished, the shots he played as he knelt down and hit the field to ease the pressure he had on himself. In the end it’s ironic because he didn’t have the last word, and it was Ravi Ashwin,” he claimed.
“Kohli is a genius because of the way he plays, because of the way he has worked out the game and he knows exactly what to do, when to do and to hit the go button. He hit two shots with two more overs, one over the bowler’s head from the back foot, a big shot to the MCG.
“Then he forced the bowler to adjust, after which he knocked him over a fine leg for six minutes. Those two shots will remain in my memory in terms of the match,” Smith added.
Kohli came to bat after KL Rahul’s resignation and stayed until the end. He also stitched a 113-run fifth wicket partnership along with Hardik Pandya.
In addition, 33-year-old Kohli won the Player of the Match award for his amazing knock under extreme pressure.