India were asked to bat after Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam won the toss and chose to field.
Pakistan’s star fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi wreaked havoc in his initial two overs, dismissing Rohit Sharma for a duck and KL Rahul for just 3 runs, providing Pakistan with a strong start.
Virat, the then captain of the India side, fought the lone battle and scored 57 off 49 balls, including 5 boundaries and 1 six. Apart from Virat, Rishabh Pant made 39 runs in 30 balls to help India post a fighting total.
India managed to score 151 for 7 within their allocated 20 overs in Dubai.
Players have given a ‘great birthday gift’ to Virat Kohli: PM Modi on India’s big win over South Africa in ICC World cup 2023
In response, Pakistan’s opening batsmen Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam dominated the Indian bowlers from the start, guiding the Green Shirts to a resounding victory in just 17.5 overs, securing their maiden World Cup win over India.
“The defeat against Pakistan in 2021 never came to my mind (in 2022). Considering the big human error factor involved in sport, there is no guarantee that on a given day you will win,” Virat told Star Sports.
“We were winning against Pakistan all those years but on that day, they outplayed us. There’s no shame in accepting that. It was a good reality check for everyone. We can’t play a match thinking we have to avenge a defeat in the past,” he added.
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One year later, in the 2022 T20 World Cup, Virat avenged the 2021 defeat in style. He played a memorable knock of 82 not out off 53 balls to hand India a thrilling four-wicket win at the jam-packed Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Virat had smashed consecutive sixes off Rauf’s bowling to clinch the win from the jaws of defeat. Virat’s spectacular knock is still widely hailed as an iconic moment in the game of cricket.
On Sunday, Virat added another feather to his illustrious cap when he notched up his 49th ODI century during ICC ODI World Cup match against South Africa. With this century, Kohli equalled Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI centuries with a brilliant 101 not out against South Africa on his 35th birthday.
The century against South Africa was Kohli’s second of the tournament and fourth overall in all 50-over World Cups. The 35-year-old now has a total of 543 runs at this edition of the World Cup at an imposing average of 108.60.