"He looked possessed and gave me seven options" - Ravi Ashwin narrates India star's mentality in historic win against Pakistan in T20 WC
After suffering a defeat to Australia in the WTC final held in London, India will be determined to showcase a superior performance in the upcoming 2023 ODI World Cup. The tournament is set to take place in their own backyard from October 5 to November 19. India's last triumph in an ICC trophy was back in 2013 and they have been striving to end their title drought since. Last year, India came close to victory in the 2022 T20 World Cup but were eliminated after a semi-final loss to eventual champions England.
Despite their semi-final exit, India drew several positives from their campaign, particularly the resurgence of Virat Kohli. In their opening match against arch-rivals Pakistan, Rohit Sharma and Co were tasked with chasing a target of 160 runs.
The match stretched until the final over with India requiring 16 runs from six deliveries. Mohammad Nawaz took charge of bowling the crucial over, taking the wicket of Hardik Pandya on the first delivery, followed by a single from Dinesh Karthik. Kohli secured a double on the third delivery.
Ravi Ashwin had to shoulder the responsibility of facing the crucial final delivery
The fourth delivery proved to be a turning point in the match. Kohli received a full toss and struck it towards deep square, where the fielder attempted to flick it back but failed to do so, resulting in the ball crossing the boundary for a six. Additionally, the delivery was deemed a no-ball due to its height, adding six runs to India's score with three balls remaining. Kohli received a wide ball on the fifth delivery, followed by three leg byes on the sixth delivery.
Recalling the moment, Ashwin revealed what was actually going on in his mind when he came to bat in the final delivery and also revealed his conversation with Virat Kohli.
Speaking to ICC, the veteran offie said, "Virat just gave me like seven options to play off that one ball. If only I was that capable of playing all those shots I wouldn't be batting at no. 8. I just talked to myself, I couldn't say that to him. I looked at Virat and his eyes seemed like he was possessed. I said, okay he's on another planet and let me come back to earth. The moment he bowled a wide I knew I won the contest."