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Sidhu praises Virat’s T20 World Cup final, knockout win

Sidhu praises Virat’s T20 World Cup final, knockout win

Former Indian cricketer Navjyot Singh Sidhu praised India star Virat Kohli for his decisive knock in the ICC T20 World Cup final against South Africa.
After scoring just 75 runs in the first seven innings of the competition, Virat stepped up when it mattered most, scoring 76 in 59 balls, with six fours and two sixes. His runs came at a strike rate of 128.81. His score took India to 176/7 in their 20 overs, which India successfully defended, restricting SA to 169/8 in a thriller.
Speaking to Star Sports, Sidhu said of Virat: “When it mattered most, when 1.5 billion Indians were praying for victory and hoping that we wouldn’t choke at the last hurdle, he stood like the Rock of Gibraltar in the sea of ​​ruins. He kept one side intact and delivered the World Cup crown by performing when India’s ship was stuck.”
Sidhu noted that Virat did not let his run rate dip even once during the tournament and that he would be remembered as an “icon and biggest inspiration” after his T20I retirement.

“In this tournament, even when he scored 38 and 24, he didn’t let the run rate drop. There was a different kind of Virat. Virat Kohli, a man of adversity, a man of masses, a masterful performer, a genius. For me, he will always be remembered as an icon, as the biggest inspiration, and above all, a cup of joy for billions and billions who watch cricket everywhere,” he said.
Virat finished the 2024 edition of the tournament with 151 runs in eight innings at an average of 18.87 and a strike rate of 112.68, with one fifty.
In 35 T20 World Cup matches, Virat has scored 1,292 runs at an average of 58.72 and a strike rate of 128.81, with 15 half-centuries. His best score is 89*. He is the highest run-scorer in the history of the tournament.
In 125 T20I matches, Virat scored 4,188 runs at an average of 48.69 and a strike rate of 137.04. He scored a century and 38 fifties with a best score of 122*. He ends the format as the second highest run-getter of all time.
At the start of the match, India won the toss and elected to bat first. After being reduced to 34/3, a 72-run counter-attacking partnership between Virat (76) and Axar Patel (47 in 31 balls, with one four and four sixes) restored India’s position in the match. A 57-run stand between Virat and Shivam Dube (27 in 16 balls, with three fours and a six) took India to 176/7 in their 20 overs.
Keshav Maharaj (2/23) and Anrich Nortje (2/26) were the best bowlers for SA. Marco Jansen and Aiden Markram took a wicket each.
In the 177-run run chase, Proteas were reduced to 12/2 and then a 58-run partnership between Quinton de Kock (39 in 31 balls, with four boundaries and a six) and Tristan Stubbs (31 in 21 balls, with three fours and a six) brought SA back into the match. A half-century from Heinrich Klaasen (52 in 27 balls, with two fours and five sixes) threatened to snatch the match from India. However, Arshdeep Singh (2/18), Jasprit Bumrah (2/20) and Hardik (3/20) made a fine comeback in the death overs to leave SA at 169/8 in their 20 overs.
Virat secured the ‘Player of the Match’ for his performance. Now, by securing their first ICC title since the Champions Trophy in 2013, India have ended their ICC trophy drought. (ANI)