'There is no comeback from here' - Virat Kohli recalls fighting back from strife at MCG versus Pakistan
Virat Kohli reminisced over his famed knock and scintillating finish against Pakistan at MCG during the men's T20 World Cup in Australia held last year. The Indian batting great spoke of how he bounced back from sustained struggle in the initial half of his innings to produce a match-winning finish for the team.
With India losing early wickets in their chase of 160 versus a much-vaunted Pakistan attack, Kohli was left in a corner, having stuttered along to 12* off 21 balls at one point. The player had self-admitted to have "messed up" the Indian quest at the time.
What followed, however, was a terrific late-flourish as Virat Kohli dramatically belted his next 32 deliveries for a whopping 70 runs and stayed unbeaten to propel the side through a victory in their tournament opener against the arch-rivals.
Recalling an innings etched in memories, particularly the game-transforming 19th over where he hammered Pakistan seamer Haris Rauf for two towering sixes, Kohli said since he had spiralled down hard with his innings, he submitted to his instincts and backed his game to come out triumphant against the odds.
Kohli on his MCG classic versus Pakistan
"My mind was spinning so fast…I was like this is worse than it was before," Kohli was quoted as saying by Indian Express at an event for Puma. "I had spiralled down so far down that there is no comeback from here and that was my honest feeling at the halfway mark. That is when my instinct took over."
Following his heart and instincts at the time, Kohli said not being logical about the task at hand and just playing the ball as it came allowed him to keep the pressure at bay and just let the innings flow every ball.
"So, when I stopped thinking and planning, whatever God-given talent I have that came to the surface and then I felt like something higher was guiding me."
"I can’t claim any of that. I was trying to do it before as well but it wasn’t working. The lesson for me was stop using your mind so much because it actually pushes you away from real magic. What happened that night, I can never explain it and it won’t happen ever again," he added.
Kohli also revealed an amusing conversation with head coach Rahul Dravid, of which he heard nothing, stating that he had entered a "zone" where he could not think of anything but focus on the chase at hand.
"I was going through what I was going through, then I came back in the Asia Cup and I was playing well and I felt like ‘Wow I’m ready to play in this World Cup’. At the 10th over mark, we were 31 for 4 and I had just ran Axar out. I was 12 off 25 balls, or something."
"I remember in the break, Rahul bhai came to me and I don’t remember what he said. I swear and I even told him this as well. I told him, ‘I have no idea what you told me in that break because I was zoned out’," Kohli recalled.