Dubai: Indian cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar has called Virat Kohli an “absolutely amazing talent” for the innings he played against Pakistan in the 10-wicket loss to the arch-rivals in the ICC T20 World Cup ‘Super 12’ game on October 24.
Following the dismissal of openers KL Rahul (3) and Rohit Sharma (0) early in Powerplays, the India skipper played with a “great sense of responsibility”, scoring 57 off 49 deliveries to at least give his side a fighting total of 151/7.
However, Pakistan, riding on a superb bowling performance from paceman Shaheen Afridi (3/31) and an unbeaten opening partnership of 152 runs between Mohammad Rizwan (79 not out) and Babar Azam (68 not out), scored a 10-wicket win over India.
“It was a terrific innings (from Virat) because India had lost their openers in the powerplay itself, so there was a greater sense of responsibility on Kohli’s shoulders because he now had to pace the innings he thought to repair the innings and also get India to a total which they could hope to defend,” said Gavaskar on Star Sports on Tuesday.
“So, the way he (Virat) paced his innings, the way he chose the shots to break free at times and the six that he hit off Shaheen Afridi. Absolutely amazing talent.”
Gavaskar also praised Shaheen Afridi’s bowling and shed light on how Virat was able to play the pacer.
“The way Shaheen Afridi was bowling, he was mixing it up quite well, he was angling the ball across the right hand and he was getting the ball to turn back in after pitching, not so much in the air because you don’t get that much help in the UAE.
“That’s why it was important for Kohli to try and step out so that he would be able to then negate the amount of swing that Shaheen Afridi was getting and that’s how he was able to negotiate that and score runs off Shaheen Afridi.”