Speaking after India’s six-wicket win against Australia in the second T20I at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Virat Kohli credited his mouth-watering scoop shot to none other than his close friend and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teammate, AB de Villiers. “That was indeed an AB shot! I told Hardik, Tye wasn’t expecting it and he said he didn’t either”, revealed Kohli, during the post-match formalities. India defeated Australia by six wickets, also thereby sealing the T20I series. While chasing Australia’s target of 195 runs, Kohli played a De Villiers-esque shot in the 15th over off Andrew Tye.
The pacer bowled a full delivery, and Kohli went down on one knee and scooped it over fine leg for a majestic six. The shot surprised everyone as it was not a very typical stroke that audiences are used to seeing the India captain play.
“I’ll text AB tonight, see what he thinks of it,” Kohli added.
Kohli and De Villiers are also teammates for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
The India captain initially won the toss and elected to field. Matthew Wade scored his second T20I half-century to power Australia to 194 for five in 20 overs. India put in an incredible team effort while batting, with Shikhar Dhawan grabbing a half-century. Kohli scored 40 from 24 balls, meanwhile Hardik Pandya donned the finisher role with a match-winning six.
Kohli hailed his team’s overall effort, even with the absence of Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah. He also feels his team’s IPL experience was an added asset.
“Everyone has played 14 games at least, recently – so they know what their plans are”, he quipped.
Pandya slammed an unbeaten knock of 42 runs from 22 balls. Hailing the all-rounder, Kohli said, “Hardik coming into the team in 2016 was pure ability. He has raw talent. And now he realises that this is his time, the next 4-5 years, to be that bankable player that can win you games from anywhere. His plans are right and I’m glad to see that.”
Meanwhile, losing captain Wade pointed out that Pandya was the reason for India’s win. “It was good fun to be captain, a lot more fun till Hardik came out. I think we might have been a little short – not a lot, but then it doesn’t matter when Hardik is in this sort of form,” he said.
The Aussies will be aiming for a consolation win, when both sides face each other in the third T20I, on Tuesday. The T20I series will be followed by a four-match Test series. The hosts won the recently-concluded ODI series, 2-1.
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