India started their campaign in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 in a very impressive manner by registering a 4-wicket win against arch-rivals Pakistan in Melbourne on Sunday, 23 October. In this spectacular albeit full-of-drama match, Virat Kohli played one of his best innings, scoring an unbeaten 82 runs off 53 balls to help India win off the last ball of the game.
However, it seemed the match had gone out of the hands for India when seasoned Dinesh Karthik got stumped out in the penultimate delivery of the match. Ravichandran Ashwin came in when India needed 2 runs off the last ball to win this match. The spinner did not succumb to a rush of blood and used his brain brilliantly to pull the match into India's lap.
The player of the match, Kohli praised Ashwin for leaving a delivery bowled by Pakistan's Muhammad Nawaz in the last over, which went on to be declared wide.
From India needing 5 runs to win in three balls before that delivery was bowled, the equation came down to 2 needed in as many deliveries. While Karthik was stumped out on the next delivery, Ashwin kept his nerve to guide India to victory with a lofted shot over mid-off on the last ball.
"I told Ashwin to hit (the) ball over covers. But Ash, usne dimaag ke upar extra dimag lagaya (he used extra intelligence). That was a brave thing for him to do. The ball came inside the line and he turned it into wide," Kohli said.
Kohli Ranks MCG Knock His Best Ever
Kohli said this was his best innings in T20 cricket considering the situation it came in.
"Till today I have always said Mohali was my best innings, against Australia. I got 82 off 52 (51 balls). Today I got 82 off 53. So they are exactly the same innings, but I think today I will count this one higher because of the magnitude of the game and what the situation was," he said.
Kohli thanked his fans for their support during his difficult times.
"You guys have supported me, shown me so much love and support for all these months that I was kind of struggling, you guys kept backing me. And I am very grateful for your support. Thank you," said Kohli in the post-match presentation ceremony on Sunday.