T20 World Cup final: Virat Kohli saves his best for last | Cricket News – Times of India

Got the job done when mattered, says batter; announces retirement from format
BRIDGETOWN (BARBADOS): Virat was smiling one moment and crying the next. It was a moment that was meant for ‘King Kohli‘ and he deserved every bit of it. As India’s greatest T20 cricketer announced his international retirement from the format, he had a Man-of-the-Match award in his hand.And he had just fashioned a World Cup victory for India.
Nothing had gone wrong for Virat in this World Cup. If the twitterati had its way, he wouldn’t have been playing the final, but there was a team management that believed Kohli would come good. “He is saving his best for the final,” captain Rohit Sharma said after India won their semifinal without much of a hassle.
Even on Saturday, the world ranted as Kohli was fighting it out in the middle. After hitting three beautiful boundaries in the first over, India had lost three quick wickets and Virat was suddenly left to pull off a rescue act. Yes, he wasn’t connecting, but the old pro knew how to deal with those moments.

Many of those who remember Kohli from his days in the 2016 World Cup – when he took Australia apart in Mohali to fashion one of India’s greatest-ever run chases – believed he would play in the same vein every day, year after year. On Saturday at the Kensington Oval, the home ground of Sir Garry Sobers, Kohli showed the world that taking a few blows on the chin and battling it out is also a rare quality.
“One day you feel you can’t get a run, then things happen. I got the job done for the team on the day it mattered. It was now or never for me, I wanted to make the most of it. I wanted to lift the cup, wanted to respect the situation rather than force it,” Kohli said.
The champion batter said about his T20I retirement that “this was an open secret”. In fact, he might not have played the T20 World Cup had India won the ODI World Cup last year. But it was the hurt of that defeat that kept Virat pushing for it. He had a magnificent IPL and put all speculation about his inclusion in the squad to rest.

The team management opened a slot for him – that of the opener – to make his game relevant for the format. Kohli was there for the insurance he provided at the top of the order, which wasn’t happening till the final. But he was not ready to let go. Some of his batting in the nets of Barbados against Jasprit Bumrah, India’s greatest white-ball match-winner, was beyond brilliant as he prepared himself for the moment.
And once he got it done, the ‘King’ announced that was time for the younger lot to take over. “It’s time for the next generation to take over, some amazing players will take the team forward and keep the flag waving high.” They will surely do, but Virat will never be forgotten.

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