Sydney [Australia], October 29 (ANI): Australian legend and former Indian head coach Greg Chappell on Saturday said that Virat Kohli’s innings of 82* against Pakistan in their ICC T20 World Cup 2022 match at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) legitimised the shorter format as an art form and added that late spin great Shane Warne would have been proud of star batter’s knock had he been alive.
Virat continued his rich vein of form by smashing a brilliant 82* against Pakistan in front of a jam-packed MCG, helping his side snatch a four-wicket win over arch-rivals from the jaws of defeat.
“It was an innings that showcased the art of batting like no other that I have seen in a lifetime of watching cricket. Ironically, it was also the innings that legitimised T20 cricket as, dare I say it, an art form, more than any that I have seen in the past 15 years. Nobody can dismiss T20 cricket as simply entertainment ever again,” said the former India coach in his column in Sydney Morning Herald.
Chappell expressed that only a former World-Cup winning Aussie wicketkeeper could have come close to a star Indian batter in terms of strokeplay.
“I can think of many of the best hitters in the modern game who could have pulled off a similar victory, and probably have, but none has ever done it with pure batting skills in the manner that Kohli did against Pakistan.”
“Only Adam Gilchrist has come close in the past, but this was even more esoteric than some of his most sublime efforts. It was simply impossible to look away.”
“It gave me immense pleasure as it was played by one of the staunchest supporters and exponents of Test cricket of the past 145 years.”
“This was the day that T20 cricket came to maturity, and the nail-biting game was played between two of the younger nations of the long form of the game in front of 90,000 rapturous fans, most of whom were thousands of miles from the land of their birth,” he concluded his point.
It was not very long ago there was a raging debate over Kohli’s selection in India’s T20 World Cup squad as he was going through the worst phase of his career after a controversial end to his captaincy from all three formats of the game.
Chappell also argued that the innings is likely the best of Virat’s T20 career and he was “in his element” while batting.
“We have known for some time that Kohli is in a rare class, but this was done against the backdrop of a pretty lean run during the last few years by his lofty standards,” Chappell wrote.
“Not many are going to have to go through it in the glare Virat has. Everyone has had an opinion; most of it has been centred on his eyes and/or his technique as having waned in some way. As someone who has been down that track, I was pretty sure this was not the case.
“It is likely the best T20 innings of his career, and it may also be one of the most satisfying in any format. He looked completely at home. He was in his element.”
Greg Chappell also felt that had legendary spinner Shane Warne been alive, he would have been proud of this knock.
Warne tragically passed away due to a heart attack in March this year.
“Shane Warne would be proud to have his name emblazoned on the most imposing stand at the stadium, presiding over the proceedings on a fateful evening.
“It was most certainly the coming-of-age of cricket’s new crown jewels. Kohli willed himself to get his team over the line and demanded that anyone who loved the game of cricket stay and watch the spectacle until the end,” he concluded.
Since his return to the sport in Asia Cup 2022 after a break taken after months of battling inconsistent form, Virat has scored 548 runs in 12 innings at an average of 78.28. One century and five half-centuries have been scored by him since his return, with the best score of 122*.
The Men in Blue will lock horns against South Africa in their Group 2, Super 12 match of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup at Perth on Sunday.
The Proteas are heading into the match after a 104-run win over Bangladesh. On the other hand, India also won its previous match against the Netherlands by 56 runs.
India is at the top of Group 2 with four points and two wins in two matches. Proteas are in the second position with three points and one wins in two matches. Their other game against Zimbabwe produced no result and both teams split points. (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.