India vs Pakistan – The October’22 Cliff Hanger in Australia

Virat Kohli – Snatching Victory from the Jaws of Defeat

India vs Pak match is always a cliff-hanger. The T20 match which was played on Sunday in Australia reminds us of the Sharjah match when Javed Miandad hit a six on the last ball off Chetan Sharma. In this match, Kohli stood his ground like a rock under trying circumstances and snatched the game from the jaws of defeat. This knock is being rated by the purists of the game, as the best ever played by him. He was cool as a cucumber when the match was headed down to the wire. Kohli’s innings teaches a few invaluable lessons too that one needs to build his innings brick-by-brick and not throw away his wicket in a jiffy.

When the going gets tough and the new ball bowlers are wrecking-havoc, patience and perseverance are the virtues which need to be applied. In doing so, one gets settled down and visibility of the ball becomes easy.

The early advantage did rest with India when they won the toss and rightly chose to bowl first on a wicket which assisted seamers. Both Bhuvi and Arshdeep bowled in the right areas, making the ball move both ways and presenting umpteen problems for Pak openers – Babbar and Rizwan. They were clueless against the quality attack. The early ‘impressive’ spell set the tone of the match and from the beginning itself Pakistan was under a lot of pressure, and in the process, lost both openers cheaply.

Pakistan’s batting never settled down till the time Iftikar hit four magnificent sixes to take the team to a respectable score of 159. Indian opening combination of KL Rahul and Rohit was patchy and tumbled early on, handing over the gauntlet to Kohli and Pandya to build the innings. Of the two, Kohli looked more fluid and played a gem of a knock. Some of Kohli’s sixes left Pakistan awe-struck. The game went down to the wire and the last ball chip by Ashwin sealed the deal for India.

The MCG ground was sold out like all India-Pak matches the world over