Kohli’s hit Pakistan in India’s T20 World Cup opener and Chappell did not hesitate to say that the former captain is the “most complete Indian batsman” of his time.
“The Bhagavad Gita is the holy book which is the synthesis of Hinduism. Literally translated it means ‘the song by God’. Kohli played an innings that was as close to a ‘song by god’ as ever in T20 -cricket was played. ,” Chappell wrote in his column for the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.
Another strong result. 🇮🇳💪 https://t.co/J5gKb6za8F
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) 1666867614000
The 74-year-old pointed out that Kohli’s aggressive hitting took the art of batting to another level and actually legitimized T20 cricket as an art form.
The purists love Test cricket while the T20 format is viewed and promoted as the slam-bang style of the game where the batsmen throw their willow at every ball.
“Like a cat playing with a new ball of wool, Kohli teased and expertly picked apart a superb Pakistan bowling attack until it lay unraveled, spent and exposed on the green carpet of the MCG.”
“….It was an innings that showcased the art of batting like no other I have seen in a lifetime of cricket watching.
“Ironically, it was also the innings that legitimized T20 cricket as, dare I say it, an art form, more than any I’ve seen in the last 15 years. No one can ever dismiss T20 cricket as mere entertainment again ,” writes the former India coach.
Virat Kohli (AFP photo)
“None of the greats of bygone eras could have dismantled an opponent as brutally without sacrificing the fun of the batting than Kohli did last Sunday night.”
Kohli is complete batsman
“Kohli is the most complete Indian batsman of my time. Only the greatest champions have the courage and the intelligence to transport their imagination beyond the mortal plane. Kohli has that.
“Perhaps only Tiger Pataudi has come close to transcending a similar stratosphere,” Chappell wrote.
Chappell feels only World Cup-winning Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist could have achieved such a victory and it was impossible to look away when Kohli batted.
“I can think of many of the best hitters in the modern game who could have achieved a similar victory, and probably have, but nobody has ever done it with pure batting skills in the way that Kohli did against Pakistan,” said he said.
“Only Adam Gilchrist has come close in the past, but it was even more esoteric than some of his most sublime efforts. It was simply impossible to look away.”
Image Credit: Virat Kohli’s Twitter Handle
That the knock came from Test cricket’s loudest and most vociferous supporter made Chappell all the more ecstatic.
“It gave me immense pleasure as it was played by one of the staunchest supporters and exponents of Test cricket of the last 145 years.
“It was the day T20 cricket came of age, and the nail-biting match was played between two of the younger nations of the long form of the game in front of 90,000 excited fans, most of them thousands of kilometers from the country wash. their birth,” Chappell wrote.
It was not too long ago that there was a raging debate over Kohli’s selection in India’s T20 World Cup squad as he was going through the worst phase of his career following a controversial end to his captaincy from all three formats of the match.
Kohli also decided to take a month-long break to deal with ‘mental’ issues and returned with a bang in the Asia Cup, where he scored his first international century in three years, and a first century in the shortest format , beat Afghanistan.
He continued his form in the home series against Australia in the build-up to the T20 World Cup.
“We’ve known for some time that Kohli is in a rare class, but this has been done against the backdrop of a pretty lean run over the last few years by his high standards.
“Not many are going to have to go through it in the brilliance that Virat has. Everyone has had an opinion; most of it centered on his eyes and/or his technique as somehow declining. As someone who was down .that track, I was pretty sure that wasn’t the case.
“It’s probably the best T20 innings of his career, and it could also be one of the most satisfying in any format. He looked completely at home. He was in his element.”