Virat Kohli put on a show with the bat to help India register a fabulous 6-wicket win over West Indies in the first T20I at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Friday (December 6).
Chasing 208, Kohli scored a masterful 94 not out off 50 balls as the hosts overhauled the imposing target with 8 balls to spare. His scintillating knock was laced with 6 fours and as many sixes but he struggled to up the strike rate in the early part of his innings.
Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Virat said: “All the young batsmen watching don’t follow the first half of my innings. That was really bad and I was trying to hit the ball too hard. It was just about keeping up to the game because I didn’t want to put KL (Rahul) under pressure, so I tried to strike at 140 at least, but I couldn’t get going properly.”
“I analysed what went wrong and played accordingly in the second half of my innings. I was trying to hold my shape and realised that I am not a slogger, so I tried to rely on my timing. Whenever I play T20 cricket, I am not someone who comes to the ground to hit the ball in the air to entertain the crowd. I focus on doing the job,” he added.
Kohli added 100 runs for the second wicket with KL Rahul (62 off 40 balls) before he shared a quickfire 48-run stand with Rishabh Pant to put India on the driving seat.
The Indian captain also gave Kesrick Williams a taste of his own medicine as he imitated the latter’s notebook celebration after hitting him for a six.
When asked if the celebration was inspired by the Carribean Premier League (CPL), Kohli said that it was actually a reply to a previous incident between the two players.
“It’s not the CPL, it happened to me in Jamaica when he got me out. So I thought I’ll tick a few in the notebook as well, but all good. There were a few words, but smiles at the end. That’s what you want to see. Good competitive cricket, but in the end shake hands and give a high five. That’s what cricket is all about. Play it hard, but have respect for opponents,” he remarked.
(With IANS inputs)