India vs Pakistan – Asia Cup 2022 | Cricket News

Virat Kohli took hold of his magical wrists, and Mohammad Hasnain’s 150kph delivery went down to deep midwicket. It was his fifty – his second in a row – off 36 balls, in the 18th over, and the Indian dressing room was on its feet.

Just a week ago, in his 100th T20 match against Pakistan, Kohli had also suffered a bruise. A thick edge was dropped into the slip facing the second ball, the inside edge rolled behind the stumps, lofted hits landed in no-man’s land, the top edge flew over the boundary, and attempted drives. Only slices were done. But this Sunday was different. The flow was there, and the timing was all there from the get-go.

The second ball he faced, a short delivery from Shadab Khan in the seventh over of the innings, Kohli quickly picked up the length and shook back to create a bridge between wide long-one and deep midwicket. In the 11th, he swings – head just above the ball, wrists at the top of the bounce – to drive Hasnain to the square-leg boundary. Naseem Shah was also not spared. Kohli was slapped on his first delivery to the cover-point boundary after the batsman went over leg and went down the pitch to make room.

Kohli was in his element. The fall of wickets was not going to change his pace, especially since he came to grips with the surface early. Before the match, head coach Rahul Dravid had touched on the importance of assessing conditions quickly and aiming for above-par scores. It was clear that the surface did not hold much and with a range of just 62 metres, India had to cushion themselves for a big score.

But being over-aggressive, Kohli had to slow down in the second half of his innings due to a multitude of wickets, which he later said was the difference between scoring 200 and stopping at 181. But he gave a glimpse. The mentality of the team when he said that the emphasis on “20-25 extra” in the middle overs was not a concern for the loss of wickets, because when it came down, it would make a difference.

Regarding India’s stand, Kohli said, “If you see that the way we are playing, it has given us the result we need and the run rate has also improved in our middle overs. “It’s something that I, as a batsman, really paid attention to, and I knew it was an area that we needed to keep improving. We’ve talked about that sometime. It’s never the way you want it to be and today we lost a few wickets in the middle stage which didn’t allow us to go towards the target of 200.

“The camaraderie with the boys is amazing. The atmosphere within the team is amazing, so I’m looking forward to playing again at the moment and feeling good the way I’m batting”


“Because later [Deepak] Hooda and I were Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar Kumar], so the bowlers had to follow. It does make a difference, but we also have the skills to analyze the situation and play accordingly. But given the situation, if we had a few wickets in hand, we could have scored more runs. We are not bothered about losing wickets in the middle overs because that’s how we want to play. We want to be able to get those 20-25 extra runs which can eventually make a difference in the big games.”

Kohli explained that most of his slowdown in the second half was dictated by the firepower of the batting. He was forced to delay the big hit, as India too faced the threat of being dismissed by the recognized batsmen in the death overs.

“Today I was making a conscious effort to strike fast,” he said. “When we lost wickets, there was communication and our plans changed, where I had to bat with Hooda till the 18th. If there were a few batsmen, I would have gone with the same pace and tried to hit more boundaries or sixes. ” But again, I reached a point where I had to go deeper.

“I thought Haris Rauf bowled a brilliant last over. He bowled those slow balls and yorkers with that pace, when you execute, it’s always hard to pull off. I’m going to continue – especially to bat first – to bat [same] Along the way, trying to step up the game and stay ahead of the asking rate, understand the conditions and just bat freely. As long as I am in a good position and confident about my batting, I know I can bat in many ways. It’s just about getting back in the groove and being confident about how you’re playing and once that happens the situation decides how you want to play. ,

After scoring two consecutive half-centuries and the first 35 runs, Kohli is the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament so far – behind Mohammad Rizwan – with 154 runs in three innings at a strike rate of 126.22. It was inevitable that he would be asked about his looks and silence the critics. Kohli underlined the importance of finding enthusiasm and joy in batting as a big factor.

“I never paid attention to these things [external criticism]To be honest,” he said. “I’ve played for 14 years; It doesn’t happen by chance. My job is to work hard on my game, something I am always eager to do. I want to improve my game for the team. That is something I will continue to do.

“Everyone is doing their job eventually. Our job is to play the game, work hard, give our 120%, and I’ve said in the past that as long as I’m doing that and the team believes in that, what Happens in the change room is the only thing that matters to us and to me personally.

“People have their own opinions and that’s perfectly fine, it doesn’t change my happiness as a person. I’ve taken some time off, to put things in perspective, it’s given me comfort that it’s not all and -All my life, I need to enjoy the game. I can’t put myself under so much pressure of expectation that I’m not able to express myself. That’s why I didn’t start playing this game. I was able to get that excitement Get back to me, when I came here, the atmosphere was very welcoming. The camaraderie with the boys is amazing. The atmosphere within the team is wonderful, so I feel good and playing again at the moment. I am batting Am.”

Shashank Kishor is Senior Sub-Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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