Kohli would then change gears in astonishing fashion, smacking 67 runs off his next 30 deliveries, including 36 runs off his last 11 balls, to finish on an unbeaten 82 off 53 balls, giving India an incredible four-wicket win.
Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq was in awe of Kohli’s unbeaten knock, saying that the right-handed batter has his own class with an awe-inspiring ability to win matches single-handedly, especially when under pressure.
“All credit for the (victory of) Indian team should be given to Virat Kohli. The way he played was fantastic. Virat is only this type of player and it’s not like that he did something which he has not done or can’t do. He played well and it was a superb knock. He has the potential that he can win matches single handedly.
“There are many players who can win matches single-handedly. Some players cannot win matches despite scoring runs but there are some players who win such matches for their teams single-handedly and in pressure. Virat (Kohli) is such a player and has his own class,” said Inzamam on his Youtube channel ‘The Match Winner’.
In a chasing masterclass for ages, laced with six fours and four sixes at a strike-rate of 154.72, Kohli slowly got India back in the chase and eventually get their campaign off to a winning start with unshakable belief and absolute trust in his abilities to enthrall 90,293 fans in the iconic stadium.
Inzamam further claimed that Kohli’s good form, which has been present since the Asia Cup after a prolonged lean patch, can guide India to breaking their nine-year drought of an ICC trophy this year.
“The Indian team is dangerous only on one condition: when Virat plays brilliantly. I am telling this clearly. There are many factors and people term other batsmen as dangerous but for me, Virat is zabardast (magnificent). If India has to win the World Cup, Virat’s performance like this can win them the World Cup.
“If they think that they can win the World Cup without Virat, it’s not possible. Indian (team) performance is related to only one person. That’s Virat Kohli. India was struggling for a long time due to Virat’s poor form. Now he has come back (in good form) and it gives India an edge in upcoming matches in the World Cup.”
Kohli was also involved in a 113-run stand with Hardik Pandya for the fifth wicket to lead India’s heroic recovery from 31/4, which also has the record of the highest partnership for any wicket for India against Pakistan in T20Is and set the base for a successful run chase.
“Both Virat and Pandya were playing well in the partnership. The main thing was that Kohli maintained the flow after the fall of Pandya’s wicket. He did not let pressure overtake his mind. He had the pressure that he is the well set batsman but the way he played the last two overs was his class. The two sixes he hit off Haris Rauf, that was some class.
“The good thing for India is that Virat has regained his form. And it happened in such a match against Pakistan. It could have happened in any World Cup match. But it happened in the first match against Pakistan only,” concluded Inzamam.
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