Virat Kohli hit an unbeaten 72 off 44 balls to help India beat South Africa and set up a title clash against Sri Lanka in the ICC World Twenty20. That he was battling not just a world-class bowling attack but body pain too hardly showed as he hit five fours and two sixes to showcase his passion for the game and wins.
Chasing 173, Virat Kohli steadied India's innings after a well-set Rohit Sharma fell on 24. The 25-year-old began watchfully but switched gears effortlessly to finish on a high. "I wasn't feeling too good before this game, had body ache. It was great to get all of that out while playing," he said at the post-match ceremony. "It feels great to reach the final." (Scorecard | Highlights | Pics)
"Depending on the importance of the match, yes, you can say it is my best T20 innings," Kohli said. "But I have struck the ball better in T20s in other games. I have also timed the ball better than I did today and have managed to score five or six boundaries very fast. Today it was difficult as I had to work hard for the knock. But as per the importance of the game, this knock tops it.
"I wanted to play an important knock when the team had entered the semis. I was in good form, so I though it is better that I stay till the end. In T20, it is very important that a batsman stays till the end. It's not like there was no pressure. It wasn't easy. Pressure was there. But it is important that you don't show it to the opponents. They are a world-class attack and the slightest mistake against them can cost you. I just wanted to stay calm and was keen to back myself," said Kohli.
Kohli also said that he was in a rush to finish the match as he knew South Africa could pull things their way without a warning. "I wanted to finish the game in the 19th over itself. I had told Raina that Dale Steyn shouldn't be given eight overs to defend in the final over. He can bowl six yorkers," he revealed. "That's how I play T20Is. I look at overs and runs, not balls and runs." (In pics: Kohli aims for WT20 trophy)
Kohli now becomes the highest individual scorer in the tournament with 242 runs from five matches - at an average of 121 runs.