Virat Kohli looked in good touch against Hong Kong.© AFP
There was relief in store for Virat Kohli fans on Wednesday night as the former Indian cricket team captain scored 59* off 44 balls against Hong Kong in an Asia Cup match. After a lean patch that saw Kohli struggling for big scores, the half-century. Now in 101 matches, Virat has scored 3,402 runs in T20Is at an average of 50.77, which is the highest for anyone in the format. He has 31 half-centuries in the format, with the best individual score of 94*. He has a strike rate of 137.12. After the match, former Indian cricket team player Gautam Gambhir gave his take on the innings.
“Probably this is not the right opposition to judge Virat Kohli or any batter. But the runs were important. You have to go out in the middle and put an effort to score runs, whoever the opposition might be,” said Gambhir during a discussion on Star Sports.
“If you want to judge whether he was seen in that rhythm or will come in that rhythm, I hope he will be seen in better rhythm in upcoming matches, because it was not that sort of quality bowling. But it’s a 60-run knock. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul also had opportunities but Virat Kohli scored 60 runs, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma could not do that. You will get confidence only by the hard work you put in the middle. Virat Kohli needed an innings like this because he is coming back after a gap. Because it is never easy for a player. In the first match, there was help for the fast bowlers from the pitch, opposition was tough, it was a better bowling line-up, but in the matches that will come ahead, whether it is Afghanistan or Pakistan, Virat Kohli will look in better rhythm now.”
The 33-year-old is now tied with Rohit Sharma, who also has 31 half-centuries in 126 innings from 134 matches along with four centuries. Babar Azam, David Warner, Martin Guptill, and Paul Stirling are the only players with more than 20 scores of fifty or more in T20Is. No other batter has more than 30 such scores.
Virat also recently became the first Indian player to represent India in 100 matches across the three formats, he joined Ross Taylor to become the second player ever to do so. In his 100th T20I match against Pakistan, Virat scored 35 of 34 calls before getting out.
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