T20 World Cup 2022: “Innings that showcased the art of batting…” Greg Chappell in awe of Virat Kohli’s 82* vs Pakistan

Kohli took the Indian team over the finishing line while chasing the target of 160.

Virat Kohli | GettyAustralian batting legend Greg Chappell has heaped praise on Virat Kohli for his match-winning innings against Pakistan in India’s T20 World Cup 2022 opener against arch-rivals Pakistan at MCG last Sunday (October 23).

Chasing 160 to win, the Men in Blue were in dire straits at 31/4 after 6.1 overs. Amid the pressure situation, Kohli rose to the occasion as he smashed 82* off 53 balls and shared a 113-run stand with Hardik Pandya (40 off 37 balls) to put India on the brink of victory, which was eventually sealed by R Ashwin on the last delivery of the match.

According to Chappell Kohli’s knock was close to being a ‘song of god’, the literal translation of ‘Bhagvad Gita’.

“The Bhagavad Gita is the holy book which is the synthesis of Hinduism. Literally translated, it means “the song by God”. Kohli played an innings that was as close to a ‘song by god’ as has ever been played in T20 cricket,” Chappell wrote in his column for the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.

Greg Chappell, who has served the Indian team as head coach in the past, also feels that Kohli’s knock has legitimised T20 cricket as an “art form”.

“Like a cat playing with a new skein of wool, Kohli teased then expertly picked apart an excellent Pakistan bowling attack until it lay unravelled, spent and exposed on the green carpet of the MCG.”

“….It was an innings that showcased the art of batting like no other that I have seen in a lifetime of watching cricket.

“Ironically, it was also the innings that legitimised T20 cricket as, dare I say it, an art form, more than any that I have seen in the past 15 years. Nobody can dismiss T20 cricket as simply entertainment ever again,” he wrote.

“None of the greats of bygone eras could have dismembered of an opponent so brutally without compromising the niceties of the art of batting than Kohli did last Sunday night.”

The 74-year-old also hailed Virat Kohli as the “most complete Indian batsman” of his time.

“Kohli is the most complete Indian batsman of my time. Only the greatest of champions has the courage and the intelligence to transport their imagination beyond the mortal plane. Kohli has that.

“Perhaps only Tiger Pataudi has come close to transcending a similar stratosphere,” Chappell wrote.

Chappell feels only former Australia wicketkeeper-batter Adam Gilchrist could have pulled off such a win and it was impossible to look away when Kohli was batting.

“I can think of many of the best hitters in the modern game who could have pulled off a similar victory, and probably have, but none has ever done it with pure batting skills in the manner that Kohli did against Pakistan,” he said.

“Only Adam Gilchrist has come close in the past, but this was even more esoteric than some of his most sublime efforts. It was simply impossible to look away.”

Greg Chappell is pleased that Virat Kohli, the most vocal supporter of Test cricket, went on to play this knock.

“It gave me immense pleasure as it was played by one of the staunchest supporters and exponents of Test cricket of the past 145 years.

“This was the day that T20 cricket came to maturity, and the nail biting game was played between two of the younger nations of the long form of the game in front of 90,000 rapturous fans, most of whom were thousands of miles from the land of their birth,” he wrote.

(With PTI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 29 Oct, 2022

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