Mirpur: Virat Kohli termed his unbeaten 72-run innings against South Africa on Friday night as his "best knock" considering the importance of the match although he said he had batted better than this on several other occasions.
"If you look at the importance of this match (World T20 semi-final), then certainly this is my best knock but I personally feel that I have batted better than this innings on many occasions," Kohli told the mediapersons at the end of India's six-wicket win over South Africa in the ICC World T20 semi-final.
"There has been several T20 innings where I have middled the ball much better than what I did today. There had been instances where I have hit three to four boundaries at the start and my timing was far better. But today, considering the context, this innings will certainly be on top of the list," Kohli added.
"Depending on the importance of the match, yes you can say it is my best T20 innings. But I have struck the ball better in T20s in other games," Kohli said.
On a lighter note he said that getting a chance to hit the winning stroke was a gift from skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"Yes, he deliberately did not hit the winning run. He just told me that 'is match mein main tujhe kuch naahin de sakta hoon. Yeh winning stroke mere taraf se gift samajh lena (I can't give you anything for this match. You hit the winning runs as it is a gift from me). Obviously, it is a nice feeling to hit the winning runs and I am grateful that he gave me the chance to hit them," Kohli said.
When someone asked as to why he is never under pressure, Kohli was a trifle embarrassed. "Is that a valid question? Everybody does what is required to do well but I believe that cricket is played more between the two ears. Just like the first 20 deliveries, I did not hit a single boundary but I was not worried about what the dug-out thought.
"I am able to block all negative thoughts. Now this is something that you learn with time as you start scoring runs."
Kohli said that the character of the pitch did not change much during the course of the match although it was "much slower" as per his reading.
"I don't think there was much change in the pitch as there was no dew. Only once the ball got wet when it crossed the advertisement billboards and fell where water was collected."