The Asia Cup is being held in the UAE this year, and it is going on in full swing! All the teams in the Super 4s have brought on their A-game, leading to close games and thrilling contests. Pakistan and Sri Lanka have played phenomenally, making their way to the finals to be held on 11th.
As for India, they lost their first 2 Super 4 encounters against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, thereby exiting from the Cup. It was a disappointing season for the team, even more so because they had won both their group matches and lost their following games by narrow margins.
But Look who’s back in form!
But, there is a silver lining in all this. As an Indian fan, obviously, this sudden end to the Indian campaign wasn’t expected, but there was something else which was highly wanted, highly hoped for, something not only Indian cricket fans yearned for, but a sight the whole cricketing world was waiting to see – Virat Kohli back among the runs, back in form! This was on every cricket fan’s mind for the last 2 to 3 years and it has finally happened, leading to much joy and excitement in the cricketing world, especially in India.
Before the start of the Asia Cup, Virat Kohli had taken a break from cricket. He mentioned in an interview that it was the first time he didn’t even touch his bat for that period. The first tournament he was playing in after the break was the Asia Cup, dubbed as ‘prep for the world cup’ by many. India had two group fixtures, one against Pakistan and the other against Hong Kong, both which they won.
Virat Kohli had a decent game in the first match against Pakistan, scoring 35 off 34 balls, playing a few good shots. In the next game, he looked more at ease, scoring 59 off 44 balls, which sparked speculations about his return to form. He was playing second fiddle to SKY in this game though, who was playing a different game altogether! The next game was against Pakistan once more, this time in the Super 4s.
Kohli top scored for India, who were slowed down after a great start. He got 60 off 44 deliveries, thus bettering his score as well as his strike rate from the last game. He was a class apart from the others that day. Even though India lost that match, the fact that Kohli was the top scorer, that he hit a half century, might have offered solace to some, who were desperately waiting for his return to form.
The next game, he got out for a duck against Sri Lanka. But soon after that, he played, according to me, one of the best innings he has ever played. He opened the innings this time along with KL Rahul and what a class act he put on – he got the shots right, the timing right and got the runs under his belt.
He went on and on, playing one good shot at a time, delighting us fans and finally, reached that milestone, that moment we’ve all been waiting for – his 71st international century, his first after 2 and a half years! Oh, what a proud moment for all Indian cricket fans that was! His face showed relief, which I think every Indian fan would have also experienced, along with happiness and excitement.
It was truly magical, watching him score his first century in T20Is, which came at a time when India needed it. They wanted to finish the tournament on a high, and Virat Kohli had given them a chance to do just that. He came and he conquered this Asia Cup – filling hundreds of cricket fans’ minds with hope for a Kohli 2.0 . I sincerely hope that Kohli continues to play this way, that we get to see him scoring those big ones much more frequently. I could go on and on, but I think I’ve said enough. With that, I urge you to go and watch Kohli’s innings from this Asia Cup and experience the class of the master.