Former Indian Coach Ravi Shastri praises King Kohli for his exceptional performance at the opening match of Team India against Pakistan on Sunday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Virat Kohli gave an astonishing score of 82 off 53 balls in the action-packed match and became the player of the match.-- Advertisement --
Ravi Shastri, in an exclusive interview with The Indian Express, lauded Virat Kohli and talked about his ups and downs and how he emerged as a warrior. He said,
“Perhaps, it’s best to start with a feeling that I didn’t have when I was watching the greatest T20 knock by Virat: I wasn’t surprised. I was waiting for this to happen. I knew this would happen in Australia. Just check his record here – the pitches suit him plus he loves playing on these grounds and in front of the fans here. His record against Pakistan has always been good and it was a big situation: cometh the hour, cometh the stage, cometh the man.”-- Advertisement --
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) October 23, 2022
“I got emotional when it was all unfolding. I have seen what he has gone through in the last couple of years. We all know the recent context. Did I have something to say to him at the end? Frankly, not a thing. We are a country with short memories; topi masters of the world! We flip, and change in two minutes. Kohli knows what I feel. I know what he feels. What’s there to be said? Not a thing. In all my years of playing and watching India vs Pakistan, those two sixes off Haris Rauf are two of the greatest shots played by an Indian batsman. The only comparison is Sachin Tendulkar’s six off Shoaib Akhtar in Centurion in the 2003 World Cup. These are two of the greatest cricketers of our time.”
“I saw an uncut diamond. When I saw him going through stuff in the last year or so, deep inside I wasn’t bothered as I knew he is too tough a character. I knew he would bounce back; the only thing was he needed to be in that space to self-reflect. Here is where that break helped. He is a wiser man now. Without that temperament, he couldn’t have done what he did on Sunday night. It’s the best T20 game I have ever seen. For the first time, I felt a T20 game was like a classic Test match. The ebbs, the flows, the pressure, the skill … it was a Test match of a T20. My cricketing takeaway from the game would be those two sixes against rapid pace in that situation. Unbelievable. Those will stay in my mind for a long time. For him, this knock would have helped in rediscovery: of himself, his love for the game, what he can do, and the road ahead. Clarity would be crystal clear; it’s usually a by-product of confidence. The rediscovery of things he would have fathomed during the break.
For the cricketing world, he was a superstar even before the knock; now let them decide what he is to them. I am not going to put it in words for them. What’s next for Virat Kohli? I have no expectations, just let him enjoy his life. The media and critics have put enough pressure on this uncut diamond and he showed who he is. Chup kar diya na sabko?! (He has silenced everyone, right?!)”,
After the defeat of Pakistan in their first match in the T20 World Cup 2022, the team will play their next match against Zimbabwe on October 27 at the Optus Stadium in Perth. Meanwhile, India will have a face-off against the Netherlands on the same day. Team India will further play against South Africa on October 30.