The crowd at the Chinnaswamy Stadium had plenty to cheer about during India’s thumping win over Netherlands in their final World Cup group campaign. The top three batters smacked half-centuries while Shreyas Iyer and homeboy KL Rahul scored sparkling centuries. However, a moment that had them jumping in joy was when their hero Virat Kohli bagged a wicket!
With lead pacer Mohammed Siraj off the pitch after hurting his throat while attempting a catch in the deep, skipper Rohit Sharma surprisingly chose to hand the ball over to his predecessor Kohli for the 23rd over.
The crowd which considers Kohli as one of their own owing to his long-standing association with Royal Challengers Bangalore were off their seats, instantly screaming Kohli-Kohli followed by RCB RCB.
Kohli, who bowls sparingly even in the ‘nets’, was happy to entertain them with his wobbly medium pacers. He conceded seven runs in his first over before lifting the roof off the stadium in his second. He sent the third ball leg-side and as it appeared headed for a wide, Netherlands’ Scott Edwards chose to play at it. Stunningly he ended up fine-edging it, keeper KL Rahul collecting the ball and throwing it up in celebration.
A surprised Kohli appealed and as the umpire’s index finger went up, he broke into a huge laughter. The stadium went berserk, including his actress-wife Anushka Sharma with the cameras firmly panned on her and her husband.
For the record, it was Kohli’s fifth ODI wicket, coming nine years after he dismissed New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum at Wellington.
(Published 13 November 2023, 14:08 IST)