Social media erupted in joy as they saw a fluid innings from Team India captain and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli as he posted an unbeaten 90 from 52 balls against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Saturday. Kohli's innings possessed the energy and fluency that, as per several observers, only very few in the history of world cricket can boast of.
Kohli, who walked in at the fall of Aaron Finch in the third over, led from the front with a majestic 52-ball knock that was the finest blend of skill and peak fitness.
His innings had four fours and as many sixes but in searing Dubai humidity ran four doubles in the final over, a testament to the hours put in physical training.
The RCB captain was involved in two half-century partnerships - one with opener Devdutt Padikkal (33 off 33 balls) and Shivam Dube (22 off 14 balls) for the fifth wicket, an unbeaten 76-run stand, which powered the total.
The last five overs yielded 74 runs as the CSK bowlers appeared to falter after having allowed RCB to score only 95 in the first 15 as Kohli and the left-handed Dube went on the overdrive.
Deepak Chahar finished with 1 for 10 from three overs while Shardul Thakur (2/40) was the best in terms of wickets. Veteran Dwayne Bravo (0/29 in three overs) again showed his value by being economical at the death.
RCB did not get off to a rapid start as the CSK bowlers kept them on a leash after an out-of-sorts Aaron Finch (2) went early.
Young Padikkal and skipper Kohli kept the scoreboard ticking but there were no big hits to be seen. Padikkal hoisted leggie Karn Sharma for a huge six in the 10th over.
However, his attempt to clear mid-off did not materialise as he ended up giving a catch to Faf du Plessis to give Thakur his first wicket.
Three balls later, Thakur struck a huge blow for CSK, getting AB de Villiers to nick one to Dhoni with a cross-seam delivery with the South African ace not troubling the scorers.
Earlier, CSK made one change by handing N Jagadeesan a debut in place of the struggling Kedar Jadhav while RCB made a couple of changes bringing in Chris Morris and Gurkeerat Singh for Moeen Ali and Mohd Siraj respectively.
What fun that was to watch Kohli. Not just the shots but the running!â€” Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 10, 2020
Virat Kohli ran 50 of his 90 runs. I can't think of any other batsman who would do this (or see the need to do this in a T20)â€” Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee) October 10, 2020
What a knock from Virat Kohli.
He was 34*(30) after 16 overs then smashed 6,1,1,1,1,2,2,1,4,6,2,6,1,6,2Nb, 1,4,2,2,2,2,1.
56 runs from last 22 balls. What a finish from the greatest of the modern Era. pic.twitter.com/pKjLe9DlqRâ€” Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) October 10, 2020
Virat Kohli came to bat in the 2.5 overs and he run double 4 times in the 20th over - just no words to explain the fitness.â€” Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) October 10, 2020
Virat Kohli changing gear in T20 format is one of the best sight with proper cricketing shots.â€” Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) October 10, 2020
Kohli is not fittest Indian cricketer but beast in Indian cricketer .â€” Sai (@akakrcb6) October 10, 2020