Virat Kohli's Ultimate cricketing brain gives India 3 byes in final over

Amidst all the masterclass, Virat Kohli showcased his brilliant presence of mind to help India clinch a last-ball thriller against Pakistan in a T20 World Cup 2022 Super 12s clash in Melbourne on Sunday.
Virat Kohli
Kohli scored an unbeaten 82 off 53 to help India clinch a nail-biter.

Virat Kohli produced perhaps his finest innings in the shortest format, scoring a brilliant 82 off 53 to help India secure a nail-biting four-wicket win in their first game at the ongoing T20 World Cup 2022 in Melbourne on Sunday, October 23.

Amidst all the outstanding stroke-play, it was Kohli’s shrewd presence of mind in the final over of the chase that stood out, and helped India sneak three runs off the ball that had actually hit the stumps. With 13 needed off 3, Kohli dispatched a high full-toss from Mohammad Nawaz over long leg for a six, and India were awarded a free-hit courtesy of a debatable no-ball call.

Nawaz fired a wide and it came down to five required off three, and the bowler almost redeemed himself by firing a yorker, which Kohli missed and it hit the stumps. The batter was alive to the situation, and given it was a free hit, sneaked through for three byes as the ball deflected between the keeper and the short third-man.

DInesh Karthik got out the next ball, but another wide and a chip downtown from Ravichandran Ashwin helped India seal the deal.

Notably, India had been reduced to 31/4 in the seventh over of their chase of 160, and it was at this point that Kohli was joined by Hardik Pandya (40 off 37) for a 113-run stand. Hardik fell on the first ball of the final over, and it was all about Kohli in the earlier over and thereafter. His unbeaten knock included six hits to the fence and four over it, with three of those maximums coming during the last two overs.

"It's a surreal atmosphere, I have no words, no idea how that happened," Kohli reflected on the win. "I am really lost for words. Hardik believed we can do it, if we stayed till the end. When Shaheen bowled from the pavilion end, that's when we decided to take him down. Haris is their prime bowler, and I hit those two sixes. The calculation was simple. Nawaz had one over to bowl, so if I could take Haris down, they would panic.

"From 28 in 8, it came down to 16 to 6. I tried to stick to my instincts. The first one was back of a hand slower ball (the one over long-on). Standing here I just feel like it was meant to be. Till today Mohali was my best innings against Australia. Today I will count this one higher. Hardik kept pushing me. The crowd has been phenomenal. You guys (fans) kept backing me and I am grateful for your support."