Former India cricketer Ajay Jadeja on Friday said two things that egged Virat Kohli to score a quickfire 41-ball 52 in the second T20I against West Indies. Jadeja claimed that Kieron Pollard kept himself at short-leg on Kohli’s first ball was something he wouldn’t have experienced in a “very long time”. He believes the initial aggression from West Indies put Kohli in a “different frame of mind” as well.
After India’s eight-run win in the match, Ajay Jadeja told Cricbuzz: “Two things were different today… One was that Pollard [coming at short-leg]. Suddenly there was a moment Virat Kohli must not have experienced for a very, very long time. You know, Virat Kohli, when he comes out, teams are not looking to get him out the first ball or thinking ‘Let’s try and attack him.’ That puts you in a different frame of mind. And then, as he said himself as well, there’s nice to have not a full house but at least some people in the crowd because Virat Kohli, I have always believed, has thrived on the energy around him and from the ground. The bigger the game, Virat Kohli becomes this larger-than-life personality and brings out something special.”
In the same interaction, another Indian player Dinesh Karthik has said that the flick shot is proof of “genius” from Virat Kohli. He was happy to see Virat Kohli’s style and also backed him for continuing the aggression as well. While Team India have won the series, they will play the final T20I on Sunday, February 20 at 7:00 pm IST.
Karthik explained: “I think he came out with a very clear mind – he wanted to attack from ball one. There’s one shot that stands out. His first boundary off Akeal Hossein, just a flick off the pad, that’s genius. It’s very hard to hit such a shot and make it look much easier than it is. He’s a class act. It was so good to see him attack bowlers right from the outset and keep that momentum going. I know he would be disappointed but he’s one of those guys that if he crosses that phase, he’s one of the most destructive players in the last 5 overs as well…”
Karthik continued: “It’s a very interesting line that he says. When you play with a lot of responsibility over a time, sometimes you tend to overthink and that’s happened with him at international level and various other players as well… You think twice before taking a risk whereas the guy with a lesser baggage doesn’t think twice. He thinks the risk is the best option at that point of time… That’s what age does to you. After a point you tend to think a bit more about taking the risk. You could see where he was coming from but he batted beautifully.”