“Told Rahul bhai, I have not done justice…,”: Virat Kohli reveals lack of confidence before T20 WC final

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New Delhi: Before scripting a moment that he would never forget in his life, India’s stalwart batter, Virat Kohli, disclosed that he wasn’t confident about delivering a performance in the T20 World Cup final in Barbados. Before the final, in seven matches, Kohli, with all his experience, struggled to find that elusive purple patch and put together a string of performances that he enjoyed in the Indian Premier League.

Before the final, he could only muster up just 75 runs at an average of 10.71, which was well below the standards that he had set over the years.
But in the final against South Africa, when the Indian team needed him the most, Kohli tapped into his prime and brought the best out of himself, proving that ‘form is temporary and class is permanent’.

His rollicking 76 off 59 deliveries set the tempo for the game and propelled India to a competitive total of 176/7. “This day will always remain in my mind because, in the entire tournament, I was not able to make the contribution that I wanted to and at one time,” Kohli said during the Indian team’s interaction with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence on Thursday morning in New Delhi.

Before the final of the marquee event, Rahul Dravid, who served as the head coach of the Indian team, had backed the stalwart batter to deliver in the final after his woeful T20 World Cup campaign. Even skipper Rohit Sharma showed confidence in Kohli’s ability to deliver in the final by saying that he was saving his best for the final.

The intent was clear from Kohli when he struck two fours in the first couple of deliveries to foreshadow the storm that was about to unfold from his bat.
“I also told Rahul bhai, that I have not done justice to both myself and the team till now. So he told me that when the situation comes, I am sure that you will come into form. So this conversation happened between us and when we went to play, I told Rohit, I did not have that much confidence that I would be able to bat the way I wanted to. So when we went to play, I got three fours in the first 4 balls, so I went and told him, what kind of a game is this? One day it seems that not even a single run will be scored, and then another day comes and everything starts happening,” Kohli said.

Kohli’s fiery start was soon eclipsed by the peculiar situation that the Indian team found itself in. Within a blink of an eye, India were reduced to 34/3 within the powerplay, which forced them to totter for each run.Kohli saved his attacking prowess till the final overs and continued to rotate strike. Axar Patel, on the other end, took the gamble and went after bowlers at every available opportunity.

“When we lost wickets, I surrendered myself to the situation and focused on what the team needed from me. I was put in that zone, but I felt bound in that moment. Later, I realised that whatever has to happen will happen. It was meant to happen with me and the team,” Kolhi added. While defending their total, the South African pair of Heinrich Klaasen and Quinton de Kock were muscling the ball out of the park. With the duo on the field, the equation was 30 runs needed off the remaining five overs.

After Jasprit Bumrah bowled a clinical over, Hardik Pandya followed it up by removing the dangerous Klaasen. Arshdeep Singh joined the pace attack, and the trio steered India to a 7-run win, which ended India’s 13-year-long wait for an ICC World Cup trophy. “We lived each ball at the end, we can’t explain what was going on inside. We lost hope at one moment, then Hardik took a wicket and then with each ball, we got the energy. I am happy that I was able to contribute to the team in such a big game after a tough time. I won’t be able to forget it. I was happy that I was able to take the team to a fighting total,” Kohli remarked. After living the historic moment, Kohli bid adieu to his T20I career and passed on the baton to the next generation.

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