Virat Kohli played a sublime innings at Hyderabad on Friday to guide India to a six-wicket win over West Indies in the first T20 International. It was the sixth-highest total chased down successfully in T20I history, and India’s highest.
The skipper took a bit of time to find his touch and when he did, there was no stopping him. Running hard as usual and timing the ball to perfection, he made a difficult chase look easy in the end. The unbeaten 94 off 50 balls (4×6, 6×6) was his 23rd half-century and highest score in this format.
With the West Indies bowlers trying to get into Kohli’s head on a number of occasions, the India captain used more than just his bat at times to reply. After hitting Kesrick Williams for a six in the 16th over, a fired-up Virat used his bat as an imaginary notebook to “tick” the bowler’s name off.
29-year-old Kesrick Williams is known for this typical celebration after picking wickets, and his face-off with fellow Carribean batsman Chadwick Walton during Carribean Premier League (CPL) match a few years ago had gone viral.
When asked if the celebration was inspired by the CPL episode, Kohli said that he remembered Williams doing the same in Jamaica when the Indian team was there for a tour.
“It’s not the CPL, it happened to me in Jamaica when he got me out. So I thought I’ll tick a few in the notebook as well, but all good. There were a few words, but smiles at the end. That’s what you want to see. Good competitive cricket, but in the end shake hands and give a high five. That’s what cricket is all about. Play it hard, but have respect for opponents,” Kohli said.
India and West Indies will next lock horns in the second T20I on Sunday, December 8.