Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has said Virat Kohli’s back-foot straight six off the bowling of Pakistan pace bowler Haris Rauf at the packed MCG on October 23 will be the most remembered shot in the history of T20 World Cup history.
The Indian batting stalwart smashed a brilliant straight hit that helped the side to a thrilling four-wicket final-ball win over their arch-rival, and the cricketing world hasn’t stopped talking about the shot since.
The equation for an unlikely India win had come down to 28 from eight deliveries before Kohli blasted off and the stunning blow he inflicted off Rauf’s delivery sent the crowd into a tizzy.
“I’m not sure what all the fuss is about,” Ponting said on ICC while recalling the amazing shot, and added, “It’s going to go down as one of the most remembered and talked about shots probably in — I won’t say white-ball cricket history — but certainly T20 World Cup history.”
Another six from the final ball of the penultimate over meant just 16 were required from the last over delivered by spinner Mohammad Nawaz, and Ponting says Kohli would have been aware of the situation Pakistan were facing.
Pakistan’s fearsome pace attack of Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah and Rauf had all bowled their quota of overs and the Australian legend said Kohli judged the situation really well.
“They would have known, having done the calculations that it was going to have to be the spinner that was going to bowl the last over. That just goes to show how important the last two balls of the 19th over were. They had to get boundaries on those two or the game was done. What had sort of happened in the over previous as well, Virat was setting up for something that was going to be full.
“You’re setting up something for that full, that he could smack back down the ground off the front foot. He was almost half through his swing and then the length is not there, and he was good enough to hold his shape and find the middle and hit it far enough to get it not just over the fence.”
The former Australia captain added he had never played a stroke that could match Kohli’s six off Rauf.
“I didn’t do it (in my career),” Ponting said. “I mean, it wasn’t on the back foot, it was just a backfoot length ball. He sort of loaded up; his footwork was quite neutral when he hit it.”