Virat Kohli set the tone for India's 2022 T20 World Cup campaign to say the least on Sunday by leading them to an improbable four-wicket win over arch-rivals Pakistan.
Kohli stayed unbeaten on 82 off 53 balls as he almost single-handedly battled a fiery Pakistan pace attack and maximised the last five overs of the chase to take India close to the finish line. He found himself at the non-striker's end for the last ball with Ravichandran Ashwin on strike and the scores tied and the latter managed to clear the infield to spart wild celebrations.
Batting great Sachin Tendulkar, who knows what it is like to be in situations like those against Pakistan, echoed India captain Rohit Sharma in saying that this may be Kohlis' best innings of his career. "@imVkohli, it was undoubtedly the best innings of your life. It was a treat to watch you play, the six off the back foot in the 19th over against Rauf over long on was spectacular! Keep it going," said Tendulkar in his tweet.
Pakistan fast bowlers Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah had the Indians dancing to their tunes for much of the first 10 overs and they found themselves 31/4 in 6.1 overs. Kohli then put up a 113-run stand off 78 balls with Hardik Pandya and both initially struggled to keep their strike rates over 100. Kohli then exploded in the last five overs as India began to lose wickets again at the other end.