India skipper Virat Kohli took the West Indies bowling attack to the cleaners en route his 70 not out off 29 balls during the third and final T20I in Mumbai on Wednesday (December 11).
Kohli's knock that came at a strike rate of 241.38, studded with 4 fours and 7 sixes, helped India pile up a mammoth total of 240/3 in their stipulated 20 overs.
In reply, the hosts restricted the West Indies to 173/8 with skipper Kieron Pollard hitting a valiant 68 off 39 balls. By virtue of this 67-run victory, the Men in Blue also clinched the series 2-1.
Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Virat described it as one of his best innings and said that now he feels motivated for the upcoming T20I World Cup next year.
“We had spoken a lot (about batting first and winning). It was about going out there and executing. I was in the zone and I carried on. Told KL, he needs to bat long and hold one end. It was a pretty special innings and also being our second wedding anniversary, it was a special gift. It was a special night and one of the best innings I have played. And batting first we won, feels really good,” he quoted.
“Now with the World Cup coming up there is motivation. My part becomes crucial as I have to play two roles. When you are not playing T20s for a while and come back and play like this, it feels good. There is one thing about talking about the plans but it is about executing them on the field,” the Indian captain added.
Kohli, who was adjudged Player-of-the-Series for his 183 runs in three games, also showered rich praise on Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul for their stellar showing in the decider. The duo of Rohit (71 off 34 balls) and Rahul (91 off 56 balls) added 135 runs for the opening wicket inside 12 overs to lay the foundation for India’s imposing total.
“I think two guys in the middle with clarity and the way Rahul and Rohit played today was the key today. Batting first, we have been too tight and hesitant, but this pitch allowed us to play freely. It was a good lesson for us and now we need to remember it,” he remarked.
On being questioned on the importance of hitting boundaries in the shortest format, Kohli said: “Depends on what pitch and ground you are playing on (whether scoring more boundaries is a must). You don’t really feel the pressure when you have 20-25 runs on the board. Playing the World Cup in Australia, we will have to figure out how big the boundaries are.”