King Kohli enthralls cricket lovers with the shot of the century


Regardless of whatever the final outcome of the ongoing T-20 World Cup is, Sunday’s clash between two arch rivals India and Pakistan would always remain etched in the minds of cricket lovers. In fact, the close contest which appeared at one stage to be going in Pakistan’s favour, was finally won by India, thanks to the scintillating innings played by legendary batsman Virat Kohli. Anyone who witnessed the match would always remember how King Kohli achieved the impossible feat of helping the country get past 28 runs needed of the last eight balls. His first boundary on the fifth ball of Harris Rauf’s last over, was a testimony to his skill, confidence and ability to cope with a situation which was getting out of control. It was a straight six over the bowler’s head clearing the long boundary of the Melbourne Cricket Ground and something which is rarely seen in the playing arena, particularly when the hope of India’s winning had started receding. Veteran journalist Rajdeep Sardesai has rightfully described the stroke as the “shot of the century’, a description with which most followers of the game would agree. Rajdeep has immense knowledge of the game; his late father, Dilip Sardesai, is considered as the man who was responsible for the renaissance of Indian Cricket in the West Indies in 1971, before Sunil Gavaskar took it upon himself to become one of the most prolific scorers for India. The `shot’ of the century is evidently inspired by what the Australians till day maintain was the Shane Warne delivery which bowled Mike Gatting around his legs and thus became the “ball of the century’’. King Kohli in playing the last eight balls in particular showed how his dedicated approach to the game and his physical and mental toughness assisted him in crossing the ultimate target; in the process, he hit two more sixes and showed how running between the wickets should be done. Full marks should also be given to Hardik Pandeya, who like Kohli had also gone through a lean patch but contributed in helping India win the match. Most viewers said that they had got more than their money’s worth and were looking forward to the display of some more positive cricket from the Indian side, which if it continues to perform as it did on Sunday, could be the favourites to lift the trophy. India has produced some excellent players in the past and the innings which Kapil Dev played to defeat Zimbabwe in the 1983 is regarded by Gavaskar as one of the best he had ever seen. Sachin Tendulkar was considered to be the God of cricket and the swashbuckling and fearless style of Virendra Sehwag made him one of the most entertaining batsmen of his generation. It was not without a reason that Sehwag was called the Sultan of Multan after he smashed a triple hundred against Pakistan on the Pakistani soil amidst hostile conditions. The current Pakistan team has many gifted players including the captain Babar Azam. However, all of them have the highest respect for Kohli. For them, he is their role model. Rohit Sharma, the Indian Skipper is a very gifted player as well and a big hitter of the ball.  Once he gets going, it is difficult to stop him. King Kohli deserves all the praise he has got and by playing the “shot of the century’’, he shall always be remembered as one of the most talented masters of the game, which is virtually worshipped in our country.