Virat Kohli Praised by Harbhajan Singh for Pressure-Absorbing Knock in World Cup Clash Against Australia
Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has showered praise on Virat Kohli for his exceptional performance in the 2023 World Cup match against Australia in Chennai on Sunday. Harbhajan hailed Kohli as the “king” and “chase master” after his crucial innings helped India secure a six-wicket victory over Australia.
The match, played at Chepauk, saw Australia batting first after winning the toss. They were eventually bowled out for 199 runs in 49.3 overs. However, India stumbled to 2/3 in just two overs during the chase. Kohli and KL Rahul then built a strong partnership of 165 runs for the fourth wicket, ensuring a comfortable win for the Men in Blue. India reached the target in 41.2 overs.
In a video on his YouTube channel, Harbhajan expressed his admiration for Kohli’s innings. He stated, “There is a reason why he is called King Kohli. Chase master or whatever you want to call him, he is the king. It was an excellent knock. There was a time when it seemed like Australia might win the game. Kohli did get a life when he tried to pull [Josh] Hazlewood and that catch was dropped. But, after that, Kohli did not give any chance and handled the chase very well.”
Harbhajan also emphasized the challenging nature of the Chennai pitch, praising Kohli’s ability to navigate the difficult conditions. He said, “Virat Kohli batted with a lot of responsibility and showed why he is the biggest player and is held in such high esteem.”
Kohli’s knock of 85 runs off 116 balls included six fours before he was dismissed by Hazlewood while attempting a pull shot.
However, there was one moment of missed opportunity for Australia. When Kohli was on 12 runs, he attempted a pull shot against Hazlewood, but the top edge resulted in a catchable chance. Mitchell Marsh, however, failed to grab the catch due to miscommunication with Alex Carey. Harbhajan acknowledged that if the catch had been taken, the match could have taken a different turn. He stated, “If Virat Kohli’s catch had been taken, India would have been 20/4. We had Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, and R Ashwin left to bat, but I feel Australia would have had the upper hand, and the result could have been in their favor.”
Harbhajan also mentioned that Kohli’s disappointment upon his dismissal was not due to missing out on a century but rather because he couldn’t finish the game. Kohli is known for his ability to finish chases and rarely gets dismissed once he is set. Harbhajan concluded by saying, “He was a bit disappointed when he got out. That was not because he missed out on a hundred, but because he could not finish the game. We have often seen that he gets dismissed very few times in chases [once he is set]. He would have been happier if he had scored 50 and had finished the game.”
Following Kohli’s dismissal, Rahul and Hardik Pandya (11* off 8) guided India to victory with 52 balls to spare.
This victory is significant for India in their World Cup campaign as it showcases their ability to chase down formidable targets and perform under pressure. Kohli’s innings was instrumental in this win, highlighting his skill as a batsman and his ability to handle high-pressure situations. His partnership with KL Rahul played a crucial role in taking India to victory.
The 2023 World Cup clash between India and Australia witnessed a strong performance from the Indian team, which will undoubtedly boost their confidence for future matches.