With David Warner battling and even Pakistani superstar Babar Azam missing out on the T20 World Cup, the fate of their country is at the knife edge heading into the final weekend of pool games.
Both Warner and Azam were expected to appear in the tournament as hitters at the peak of their power.
Indian megastar Virat Kohli entered a tournament at the other end of the spectrum. Some questioned his value to the team, even though he stands as the all-time leading scorer in the game’s shortest form.
The criticism was not only bizarre, but very unjust given that “King Kohli” scored a tournament-high 220 runs in four innings and was sent off only once.
He started the tournament with a match-winning MCG innings, which former World Cup-winning Australian captain Ricky Ponting said no other player in the Indian line-up could achieve.
Kohli’s two 6s in the penultimate over and another 6 in the final over gave them an unforgettable victory as part of an unbeaten 82-ball run on just 53 balls.
It was the mark of a champion and reason enough for Ponting to believe that Kohli, who has more international T20 runs than anyone else in history, could be the man to completely conquer India.
“He’s not only done it once or twice, but he’s done it probably 20 times in the IPL, not just T20, but probably the same number in India,” Ponting said at the MCG this week.
“I doubt if there were any other players on that side who could be the last to cross the line in that situation.
“I think the game of T20 is for the older, smarter minded people, the people who have been out there and have done it all before, gone through it all before, and perhaps any cricket is a virat. No one has experienced more success than Cori.
“The chances were slim the other night, so I was sitting on the couch watching eight balls to go strike with him.
“And we often know that little moments like that can have a huge impact on a team mid-tournament.”
Kohli had three and a half centuries in four tournament innings, not all out. Despite speculation about the 33-year-old Kohli’s place in the team, Ponting said he is clearly the most important hitter as India hunt for his Cup glory at the Worlds.
“Over the last few months we have been talking about how important it is for India to stick with Virat participating in such a big tournament,” said Ponting.
“In order to win, you have to have an experienced star player who plays well and stands up for the big moments. think.
“We never write off champion players. I think the bigger the moment, the more likely those champion players are to get the job done.
“India is probably not in the best shape yet, but Virat is very good.
“He is currently the top run scorer in the history of T20 cricket and I think he needs to play well if India are to continue to progress and actually win.”
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/breaking-news/ricky-ponting-in-awe-of-virat-kohlis-world-cup-batting-as-stars-struggle/news-story/528f94cd4fce46db228cc300c50a61ce Ricky Ponting in awe of Virat Kohli’s batting