'Cricket gods wanted to do it for him' - Shoaib Akhtar recalls Virat Kohli's 'MCG miracle' on his 15-year anniversary
Virat Kohli scored a sensational 82* (53) vs Pakistan during T20 World Cup 2022.
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Star batter Virat Kohli completed 15 years in international cricket on Friday, August 18, 2023. The 34-year-old made his international debut way back in 2008 against Sri Lanka during the first ODI in Dambulla. The then 19-year-old opened the innings with Gautam Gambhir and got dismissed for 12 (22) by Nuwan Kulasekara.
On Kohli’s 15th anniversary in international cricket, former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar recalled his sensational 82* (53) against Pakistan during the T20 World Cup 2022. The legendary Pakistan seamer said that the game was all about him and the cricket gods wanted to do it for him as he had been going through the worst phase in his career.
“That match was all about Virat Kohli. The cricket Gods wanted to do it for him. He wasn't in the best of form, and was facing a lot of heat from you guys in India. The media was after him. It was as of God was telling him – this is your stage, come and become king again,” Akhtar said on the show 'Backstage with Boria' on RevSportz.
Speaking more about his innings, Akhtar stated that the two scintillating sixes against Haris Rauf in the 19th over gave him back his kingdom.
“If you see all that transpired – rain and a lot of it, 100,000 people, 1.3 billion Indians watching, 30 crore Pakistanis watching, the whole world in awe – the stage was set for Kohli. It was the greatest stage of all. When you add the two sixes that he hit off Haris Rauf, that match gave him back his kingdom. I think it was all destined for him on that day at the MCG," he added.
Kohli helped India register an improbable win
Notably, Kohli helped India snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with his miraculous innings as they chased down the target of 160 on the last ball. The star batter was on 15* (23) at one stage and later accelerated as India required 48 to win off the last 18 balls.
Courtesy of his innings, Kohli won back his fans after going through the worst phase of his career from 2020 onwards.