Ricky Ponting highlights talk of Virat Kohli’s place in Indian team as he delivers bold verdict on batsman’s final knock in T20 WC

Ricky Ponting and Virat Kohli

Former Australian cricketer Ricky Ponting has heaped praise on Indian batsman Virat Kohli for his innings in the 2024 T20 World Cup final against South Africa. He said that the batsman stepped up for his team when it mattered the most.

Indian batsman Virat Kohli was at his best in the match against South Africa in the final of the 2024 T20 World Cup. The batsman put in a stupendous effort with the bat when it mattered the most and ensured that he helped his team end the title drought and win the final to lift the second T20 World Cup in history.

Coming into the final of the 2024 T20 World Cup, Virat Kohli did not have a great performance in the tournament. He failed in all the matches and had a lot of baggage on his shoulders. Before the final, the opening batsman had only 75 runs to his name, but in the big game, he turned the tables.

On a pitch where batting looked tough, Virat Kohli stepped up for his team. He started the match aggressively as he scored three boundaries in the first over but after India lost wickets early on, he realised the need to stay on the field and played according to the situation.

Virat Kohli stood firm at one end and made sure he batted deep, taking his team to a winning total on the board. He anchored the innings perfectly and this allowed others around him to bat freely without worrying about the wicket and get some runs quickly.

Virat Kohli finished with a vital innings of 76 runs off 59 balls. He batted at a strike rate of around 130 and hit 6 fours and 2 sixes in his innings. His effort with the bat propelled India to a total of 176 runs on the board and won the game by 7 runs to lift their second T20 World Cup title. He also won the Man of the Match award for his innings.

Ricky Ponting, speaking about Virat Kohli’s innings, recalled that there were doubts about the batsman’s place in the team. He underlined that the pressure on Kohli increased after his failures but he always knew that the Indian batsman would stand firm on big occasions.

Ricky Ponting highlighted how Virat Kohli was under pressure when India lost three wickets and pointed out how he ended up playing the match-winning innings for the team. Speaking to ICC, he explained:

“There was some talk about him even before the team was chosen. If Virat Kohli should be in this Indian team. And then as the tournament progressed, he hasn’t put in the performances that he would have liked. But, you know, I’ve been asked ten times what I think about it, what I think about his form and I just said, “Let him go. When the big moments come, he will stand up and of course he did today.”

“And it was probably the most pressure he’s had as a player today as well, considering they lost three early wickets and it was up to him to buckle down and get the job done, which says a lot about him as someone who can read the game, understand it but also be good enough to be able to do it, end up playing what turned out to be a match-winning knock for his team.”

Yes, it wasn’t easy for him – Ricky Ponting on Virat Kohli’s innings

Ricky Ponting further highlighted how difficult it was for Virat Kohli as he had to work hard to get his fifty, which was his slowest record. He praised the batsman for assessing the conditions well and added:

“Yes, it wasn’t easy for him. I think the half-century he got today was his slowest ever T20 international half-century. That’s how hard he had to work and then when he got to the half-century, he stepped on the gas.

“In the next few overs he stepped things up quickly, which is what his team needed him to do. So yeah. Assessing the conditions, assessing the situations and playing appropriately is what he did so well and has done throughout his career,” he concluded.