Kolkata: Virat Kohli was the silver lining in India’s failed campaign in the ICC World T20. The Indian vice-captain was adjudged the Man of the Tournament at the end of Sunday’s final between West Indies and England at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens. (We Learn From Our Mistakes: Virat Kohli)
Kohli was not there to receive his award and his trophy was given to Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary Anurag Thakur.
India were ousted by champions West Indies in a thrilling semifinal in Mumbai on Thursday. Kohli was India’s lone ranger as throughout the World T20, he came up with match-winning knocks.
For the umpteenth time in the World T20, the 27-year-old had papered over the cracks in India’s top order, his unbeaten 89 accounting for almost half of his country’s 192 in the semi-final against West Indies.
In between the 11 boundaries and single six that flowed from his bat, the supreme athlete ran himself ragged, regularly converting singles into twos and occasionally two into threes.
Kohli the bowler also resurfaced when it mattered.
The evening dew had effectively defanged the Indian spinners, while their pacers bled boundaries, leaving Mahendra Singh Dhoni in an unenviable position.
The India captain, as is his wont, sprang a surprise by tossing the ball to Kohli and the part-time dibbly-dobbler struck immediately, dismissing the dangerous Johnson Charles (52) with his first delivery and ending a 97-run partnership.
India’s Test captain finished the World T20 with 273 runs from five innings with a staggering 136-plus average and a strike rate of almost 147.
Only Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal (295) scored more and he had the advantage of playing extra matches in the qualifying stage of the tournament.
(With inputs from Reuters)