Virat Kohli is a selfless cricketer. The former Indian skipper was only a run away from yet another and completely deserved T20I fifty, yet, he asked Dinesh Karthik to keep the strike and do the finishing role. India met South Africa for the second encounter in the three-match T20I series in Guwahati where the hosts were put in to bat first and they made everything out of the lost toss. KL Rahul (57 off 28) scored a brisk fifty while skipper Rohit Sharma played the supporting role as India accumulated 96 inside ten overs.
After the departure of both the openers in quick succession, Suryakumar Yadav and Virat Kohli took on the charge. Yadav smacked 61 in just 22 deliveries before being run out in the 19th over. Kohli, who played the second fiddle in the first half of his innings, joined the party and it rained fours and sixes from both ends at the Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati.
Kohli batting at 49*, needing only one to hit the milestone, was a happy bystander when Dinesh Karthik replaced Yadav. Karthik slammed a quickfire 17 in the 7 deliveries and even approached Kohli at one point during the final over bowled by Kagiso Rabada, willing to bring Kohli back on strike. The former captain gestured to Karthik to go back and finish the business. India ended their innings on a high note, piling up 18 runs in the final over. A towering 238 was the target set for South Africa.
The fact that Kohli played the selfless role wasn’t lost on anyone and his decision to stay at 49* was praised far and wide by fans on social media. Some even celebrated the move with memes.
Imagine the result of the match if Dinesh Karthik hadn't scored those quick 17 runs and Virat Kohli had gone for his 50 instead. This is why team before milestones.— EngiNerd. (@mainbhiengineer) October 2, 2022
Karthik asked “Should I give you strike to complete your 50?”Kohli: Nope, Go for the maximum
— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) October 2, 2022
In the end, despite David Miller’s exceptional and unbeaten century, South Africa could muster 221/3 in their response as the visitors fell short by a mere 16 runs. India sealed the series 2-0.