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Virat Kohli's WT20 knock the best innings I’ve seen live: Steven Smith

Virat Kohli
India’s Virat Kohli(L) celebrates after victory as Australia’s James Faulkner looks on in the World T20 cricket tournament match between India and Australia at The Punjab Cricket Stadium Association Stadium in Mohali on March 27, 2016. / AFP / MONEY SHARMA (Photo by MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Australian skipper Steven Smith rated Virat Kohli’s unbeaten knock of 82 in the group stage match, which knocked Australia out of the World T20 2016 as the best knock he has ever seen live.

“Looking at that innings that Kohli played, it was one of the best I’ve ever seen, definitely the best innings I’ve seen live or against me.”

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The run machine of India, Virat Kohli had been in great touch in the World T20. Australia after batting first, posted a decent total of 161 in Mohali and within the powerplay, Indian top-order had tumbled. But, Virat put on a one-man show to take India over the line with a 51-ball 82.

With 39 needed off the last 3 overs, Virat took India home with 5 balls to spare. “It certainly has to be in the top three,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation. “Probably the top right now, because I’m a bit emotional, so I would like to put this on top. Against Australia, a world-class side, literally a quarter-final for us, we had to go over the line. There’s a lot riding on us in this World Cup, we are playing at home and the crowds want to see us and we just want to give them as much entertainment and fun as possible.”

Smith said that he had learned a lot from the knock and appreciated Kohli on his performance. “It was just amazing the way he was able to manipulate the field and every single time he hit the ball is seemed like it was going for a boundary, yet he wasn’t taking big risks.

“It was a classy innings and it’s nice to see that in the Twenty20 format of the game, that it’s not just muscle and power that can be successful; smart cricket and good decision making works as well.

“I think I learned a lot just watching that innings alone. You want to play those kind of innings for your team.”

Smith feels that Australia missed the services of the Australian pace bowling spearhead Mitchell Starc, who could have stopped Kohli with his death bowling capabilities. “Against India when Virat Kohli was smashing us around, it was a moment that probably would have suited him pretty well. To have him come on and bowl some good death bowling, some good yorkers; perhaps that may have got us over the line. You never know.”

Starc has been named in the Australian squad for the tour of West Indies this June, and Smith said that he is looking forward to watching the star bowler perform.

Also read – I hope Sri Lanka include Kusal Perera in the Test squad: Kumar Sangakkara

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