Mohali: India’s limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has heaped praise on star batsman Virat Kohli after he struck a sublime half-century against Australia to power his side to the semifinals of the ongoing World T20, describing his innings as `incredible`.
The 27-year-old continued to reprise his role as Australia’s tormentor-in-chief as he smashed nine fours and two sixes in his unbeaten knock of 82 runs off just 51 balls as India chased down the massive target of 161 runs with five balls to spare.
“I think it was an incredible innings,” Dhoni was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo after helping his side to claim an emphatic six-wicket win over Australia at Punjab Cricket Stadium in Mohali.
“It was tremendous batting effort from him (Kohli), superb batting. Especially the areas where you want to score runs, where you want to play big shots. I think more often than not, it is about selection of shots and execution of shots. I feel overall, Virat was very good not just with his stroke play but also in the running between the wickets – you take minimum risk if you can run fast,” he added.
The match also saw Yuvraj Singh feeling discomfort while running after twisting his ankle at the crease. He, however, managed to contribute significant 21 runs off 18 balls.
Expressing his views on the same, the wicketkeeper-batsman insisted that they would monitor Yuvraj’s injury in next few hours, but added that the team would definitely keep replacement ready before heading into the semifinals.
“We would definitely like to keep a replacement ready, like you see how Bhuvneshwar (Kumar) is travelling with us. So that guy is in touch with cricket, and he is travelling with us. So that he is in that mental space where if he has to play immediately, he is ready to perform. So we will definitely call for a replacement if the physio says it’s really bad, we’ll take it forward from there,” the right-handed batsman said.
Earlier, India top-order batsmen once again failed to click as they were reeling at 49-3 at 7.4 overs before Kohli engineered two crucial partnerships with Yuvraj and Dhoni (18 not out) to help India seal semi-final berth.
In contrast, India bowlers also made a brilliant comeback to restrict Australia to 160 for six despite a thunderous start given by Aaron Finch (43) and Usman Khwaja (26).
With the win, India have set up a semifinal showdown against West Indies which will be played on Thursday at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. (ANI)