Virat Kohli played an important role in India’s triumph over Australia in their opening Cricket World Cup match in Chennai.

Kohli’s exceptional performance went beyond his brilliant batting, where he scored a crucial 85 runs in the chase of 201. Facing a challenging situation with the top order struggling, Kohli and KL Rahul forged a match-winning partnership of 165 runs. Although Kohli fell just 15 runs short of a century, getting dismissed for 85, he had done enough to guide India to victory.

He also showcased his prowess as a top-notch fielder. He executed a fabulous catch that provided India with their first breakthrough, dismissing Mitchell Marsh. As Marsh nicked a good length delivery from Jasprit Bumrah, the ball sailed towards the first slip, and Kohli’s quick reflexes allowed him to dive to his left and complete the catch with both hands.

After the match, India’s fielding coach TK Dilip presented Kohli with a special medal in the dressing room to recognise his exceptional fielding.

When Kohli received the medal, he insisted on having it placed around his neck, similar to how Indian athletes were recently honoured in the Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Head coach Rahul Dravid shared a video where he mentioned, “A little change in how we do things. Dilip is going to hand out his special fielding medal. So over to you, Dilip.”

Kohli, overwhelmed with the honour, responded, “Firstly… at last, we got this because we’ve been telling everyone that we need to have the best fielder of the match, etc. And at last, we got some token for it. I think in today’s game, Ishan put up an outstanding effort. Shreyas was outstanding for taking two catches. But something we keep talking about in this team is consistency. It’s just not about one catch or one piece of fielding. Overall, I’d like to think intensity, backing up… not only doing your job but also making sure that you encourage and keep the right fielders at the right place. So, this one goes to Virat.”

His words were met with a loud cheer from everyone in the change room.

  • World Cup 2023

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