The rivalry is a major part of any sports. Rivalries create a sense of atmosphere filled with determination, pride, and passion for the team and the game. One such rivalry filled with unmatched expectations and long history is India vs Australia. March 27, 2016, The Indian Cricket Team led by MS Dhoni was taking on the mighty Australians in a group stage match of the ICC World T20 at the beautiful IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. In this match, 4 years ago, Virat Kohli showed the world why he is known as one of the best chasers in the game.
Australian captain Steve Smith won the toss and decided to bat first. Usman Khwaja and Aaron Finch helped Australia to a flying start stitching up a 50 run partnership in no time. The Aussies scored 59 runs in the first 6 overs and looked set to a high scoring game. The men in yellow crossed the 100 run barrier in the 13th over and a high score was certainly on the cards.
However, Indians pulled things back with some excellent middle over bowling. A Good combined bowling effort by the Indians helped them restrict Australia from scoring runs aplenty. Indians struck up in the middle overs picking up wickets at regular intervals. The MSD lead team took hold of the crucial deciding moments of the match restricting Australia to 160/6 in 20 overs.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan opened the innings for India against a deadly Australian pace attack comprising of Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Shane Watson, James Faulkner with Glen Maxwell and Adam Zampa as the spin options available at their disposal.
India lost both their openers early and managed to score only 37 runs in the first powerplay. Suresh Raina could not capitalize on the opportunity and got dismissed cheaply by Watson for just 10 runs. Yuvraj Singh playing a promising 18-ball 21 cameo before James Faulkner got the better of him.
Virat Kohli started off his innings with caution playing the balls on the merit and driving the ball all across the pitch. Kohli decided to take on the Aussie fielders and put pressure on them by taking quick singles with skipper MS Dhoni. The duo brought up their 50 run partnership for the fifth wicket in just 26 balls putting the pressure back on the Australians.
Later on, The current Indian team captain racked up his half-century in 39 alls that included three boundaries and one well-timed six. Being a must-win the game, the stakes were very high but Virat Kohli held on the pressure and kept India in the game throughout his innings. Kohli wreaked havoc on the Aussies in the 17th and 18th overs of the match. It rained fours and sixes as Virat notched up 32 runs in those 2 overs to ease off the pressure on his team.
Kohli showcased his excellent batting prowess and the determination to capitalize on every chance with his running between the wickets. Kohli remained undefeated in his 51-ball 82 knock to propel India to the semi-finals.
It is not often that you see MS Dhoni playing second fiddle in an all-important high stake chase against arch-rivals but that’s how the game progressed as Kohli’s brilliant 51-ball 82 helped the MS Dhoni lead Indian cricket team into the semifinals of the ICC World T20 Tournament. In a post-match interview, the Delhiete said described this knock as his best and said, “Probably the top right now, because I’m a bit emotional, so I would like to put this on top.”