Yuvraj Singh raced out of the dugout, picked up Virat Kohli and placed a series of friendly spanks on his butt. His favourite Chiku had once again taken India over the line.
With two runs needed off the last eight balls, Virat had taken a single to mid-wicket and that had brought skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on strike for the last ball of the 19th over.
Virat was seen telling Dhoni to go ahead and finish the match. But India’s Captain Cool defended the ball back to the bowler much to the amusement of the dugout on the edge of their seats waiting to rush in.
“He (Dhoni) said he could not give me anything more from this match and he wanted me to hit the winning shot,” said Virat on Friday. “I am thankful to him for letting me do that. Hitting the winning runs is always very special.”
If Virat was under pressure during India’s run chase, he did not show it. A Tarzan-like war cry with eyes closed and head shaking in frenzy, facing his dugout after hitting the winning runs, showed exactly how difficult the chase was. It also showed how badly India wanted to be in the final after criticism for a series of poor performances in South Africa and New Zealand and of course everything else going on back home following the court orders on the IPL fixing case.
Virat’s unbeaten 72 off 44 balls with five fours and two sixes put him on top of the tournament’s top scorer’s list. In five matches now, Virat has scored 242 at an average of 121. “Depending on the importance of the match, yes you can say it is my best T20 innings. But I have struck the ball better in T20s before. I have also timed the ball better than I did today and have managed to score five or six boundaries very fast. Today, it was difficult as I had to work hard for the knock. But as per the importance of the game, this knock tops it,” he said.
No doubt when Virat was batting on 20, Brian Lara wrote on EspnCricinfo: “The beauty about Kohli’s batting is that even though he hasn’t hit a single boundary his strike rate is still more than 100. What a dynamic player!”