A song by god’: Greg Chappell on Virat Kohli’s knock against Pakistan

Greg Chappell in his column for the Sydney Morning Herald, has called Virat Kohli’s knock against Pakistan ‘a song by god,’ and also rated the former skipper as the ‘most complete Indian batsman’ of his time.

“Virat Kohli played an innings that was as close to a “song by god” as has ever been played in T20 cricket. Like a cat playing with a new skein of wool, Kohli teased then expertly picked apart an excellent Pakistan bowling attack until it lay unravelled, spent and exposed on the green carpet of the MCG,” wrote Chappell.

Kohli slammed an unbeaten 82 to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

“None of the greats of bygone eras could have dismembered of an opponent so brutally without compromising the niceties of the art of batting than Kohli did last Sunday night.”

“Kohli is the most complete Indian batsman of my time. Only the greatest of champions has 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,” said the former India coach.

Chappell also said that Kohli’s knock has legitimised T20 cricket as, an art form and nobody can dismiss the T20 cricket as simply entertainment ever again.

“It was an innings that showcased the art of batting like no other that I have seen in a lifetime of watching cricket.”

“Ironically, it was also the innings that legitimised T20 cricket as, dare I say it, an art form, more than any that I have seen in the past 15 years. Nobody can dismiss T20 cricket as simply entertainment ever again,” said the 74-year-old.

Chappell said only Adam Gilchrist could have come close to Kohli in terms of sheer strokeplay.

“I can think of many of the best hitters in the modern game who could have pulled off a similar victory, and probably have, but none has ever done it with pure batting skills in the manner that Kohli did against Pakistan,” he said.

“Only Adam Gilchrist has come close in the past, but this was even more esoteric than some of his most sublime efforts. It was simply impossible to look away.”

That the knock came from the strongest and most vocal supporter of Test cricket 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 past 145 years.”

“This was the day that T20 cricket came to maturity, and the nail biting game was played between two of the younger nations of the long form of the game in front of 90,000 rapturous fans, most of whom were thousands of miles from the land of their birth,” Chappell wrote.

Kohli’s innings came at Shane Warne’s home ground as 90,000-plus fans cheered every bit of it and Chappell felt had he been alive, the spin wizard would have been proud of the knock.

“Shane Warne would be proud to have his name emblazoned on the most imposing stand at the stadium, presiding over the proceedings on the fateful evening.”

“It was most certainly the coming-of-age of cricket’s new crown jewels. Kohli willed himself to get his team over the line, and demanded that anyone who loved the game of cricket stay and watch the spectacle until the end,” Chappell said.

Two years ago in a column for the same newspaper, the Australian batting legend has declared Kohli as an Aussie. He said: “Kohli is the most Australian non-Australian cricketer of all time.” He struck a Gandhi metaphor to drill his point: “Many previous Indian cricket teams tended to play with undue deference to their opponents, as if in accord with the Gandhian principle. Virat Kohli does not believe in passive resistance. He is a proponent of all-out aggression.”

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