India’s batting mainstay Virat Kohli, who on Saturday powered his team to a crucial win against arch-rivals Pakistan in the World Twenty 20, bowed before only one man – Sachin Tendulkar.
Kohli raised his bat and gestured to Tendulkar – popularly called the ‘God of Cricket’ – after scoring a half-century that helped India survive a top-order collapse and beat Pakistan by six wickets in a tight game .
Batting legend Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket in 2013, thanked the aggressive batsman for showing his reverence from the middle of the electric Eden Gardens stadium. “Great Win Team India. Thank you for the innings and gesture @imVkohli,” he tweeted after the match.
“Team India returning to the dressing room after the game, waved to me. Felt like I never left the team...,” the 42-year-old added.
Team India returning to the dressing room after the game, waved to me. Felt like I never left the team...#IndvsPak (2/2)— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) 19 March 2016
The crowd at the packed Eden Gardens in Kolkata earlier stood up and chanted ‘Sachin, Sachin’ as the cricket great was being felicitated along with other former players and Bollywood celebrities. “Nice to see the stalwarts from Pakistan, we welcome them here...,” he said during the ceremony.
After winning the game for India, Kohli dedicated his half-century to Tendulkar, who applauded as he watched on from the stands.
“I started playing cricket watching him. So to do it in front of 67,000 people with him celebrating, it was a great feeling,” he said.
Kohli struck seven fours and one six on a testing pitch as India reached 119-4 in 15.5 overs of the Group 2 game after restricting Pakistan to 118-5 in a game reduced to 18 overs per side after a one-hour delayed start due to a wet outfield.