Virat Kohli Has Switched To A Vegan Lifestyle, Should You Be Too?

From being a chubby-faced cricketer who loves his homemade delicious Punjabi food, especially his personal favourite, biryani, Virat Kholi has been on a remarkable transformational fitness journey. Kohli’s current diet includes protein shakes, vegetables and soya, as he’s given up eggs and diary for good.

“Kohli started this diet four months ago and is feeling stronger as his digestive power has increased. He isn’t missing meat, eggs or diary. Two years ago, when he was on a normal diet he had said that he would go vegan if given a choice. He is now feeling stronger than before,” claims sources.

The news of captain Kohli turning vegan has stirred the age-old debate over whether the vegan diet is healthy or not. While the Indian skipper’s decision to go vegan might be a part of his fitness journey, it is important to note that many celebrated sports personalities like Serena Williams, Lewis Hamilton and Carl Lewis are already a part of the vegan club and are seen promoting the vegan lifestyle.

So, whether you are planning to turn vegan or are just curious about the health benefits that this plant-based diet has to offer, here is all that you need to know.

What is the vegan diet?

A vegan diet is a completely plant-based diet consisting of vegetables, beans, grains, nuts etc.

Being vegan is different from being a vegetarian, as they still consume dairy and eggs, and it is NOT an abbreviated way to say ‘vegetarian’.

What all can you eat if you’re going vegan?

Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive.

1. Vegetables and fruits

2. Grains

3. Beans and legumes

4. Nuts and seeds

5. Tofu

6. Plant-based oils

What are the health benefits of going vegan?

While researches have shown several health benefits of a vegan diet including high vitamin C levels and fibre levels when compared to a non-vegan diet, it is how you follow the diet that decides its health benefits. Ultimately, it all depends on what you eat as even if you are living on fries and chips (yes, they are vegan) while being on a vegan diet, it is not good for your health.

1. Risk of cardiovascular disease drops

It is an established fact that diets containing meat are rich in saturated fat and cholesterol. On the other hand, by going vegan you significantly reduce the saturated fat intake, which in turn, lowers your risk for heart diseases.

2. You lose weight

As you switch to a plant-based diet which is rich in fibres, you may start to feel full sooner than usual, thanks to the fibre-rich diet that is easier on the digestion.

3. You might become happier

No, we are not kidding. A research has found out that those who follow vegan diets might be happier than those who eat fish and meat.

4. Fewer migraines

Foods like chocolates and cheese are one of the most common triggers for a migraine as it is linked to our diets and eating habits. Hence, if you are on a vegan diet you are automatically more mindful of what you are putting inside your mouth, leading to fewer migraine triggers.

5. Healthier skin

Being rich in Vitamin C, a plant-based diet could do wonders to your skin. This happens because a vegan diet tends to be rich in antioxidants, which helps fighting acne and other skin issues. It also provides a healthy glow to your skin and helps with collagen synthesis, which in turn keeps your skin looking younger and healthier.

Vegan for the environment?

Interestingly, this plant-based diet is exceptionally good for the environment as according to the researchers at the University of Oxford, shunning dairy and meat products could reduce a person’s carbon’ footprint (from food) by up to 73 per cent.


It could also result in a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions as the findings of the research point out that meat and dairy productions are responsible for 60 per cent of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions while using 83 per cent of the farmland.

The takeaway

However, one must remember that when you are eliminating animal and animal products from your diet, you are also putting yourself at the risk of missing some important nutrients including vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

If you are following a strictly vegan diet, make sure that you take additional supplements to balance your diet, as some vitamins like vitamin B12 occur naturally only in animal foods like eggs and milk. In fact, plant-based calcium and iron are not as easily absorbed when compared to the kind in meat.

Keep in mind that balance is the key as following a vegan-diet does have health benefits if it is well-planned.

With inputs from TNN

Virat Kohli creates history: Becomes first Indian sportsman to ink Rs 110 crore deal with a single brand

Kohli has joined the likes of Usian Bolt, Theirry Henry, Asafa Powell amongst others as a global ambassador for Puma.

The Indian captain who made history on the field by scoring a double hundred in four back-to-back Test series, has repeated the same off-field. Virat Kohli became the first Indian sportsman to ink a Rs 110 crore endorsement deal with the sports apparel brand Puma, reported the Times of India.

With the signing of an eight-year deal, Kohli has joined the ranks of Usian Bolt, Theirry Henry, Oliver Giroud, Asafa Powell amongst others as a global ambassador for the brand.

“It’s a privilege to be part of a great list of athletes that Puma has,” Kohli told TOI. “Not just today’s icons like Usain Bolt, but also the brand’s rich history with Pele, Maradona, Thierry Henry and others. Both Puma and I are committed to a long-term partnership. I am impressed by the way Puma has gained popularity and market leadership in India in a short period of time,” he added.

Kohli’s endorsement deal with the German company involves a fixed payment and royalty depending on the brand’s business performance. Bulk of the endorsement deal, estimated between Rs 12 and Rs 14 crore annually, has been signed on a fixed payout.

While other legends like MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar have been a part of the Rs 100 crore club, they have received this amount through multi-year contracts with various brands. However, the 28-year old captain has been the first to put his hand on such a big amount through a single brand.

Kohli took to various social media platforms and posted a picture endorsing the brand.

I’m ready for the next challenge with @PUMA. Are you? #Forever #ForeverFaster

A post shared by Virat Kohli (@virat.kohli) on

Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report-virat-kohli-creares-history-becomes-first-indian-sportsman-to-ink-rs-110-crore-deal-with-a-single-brand-2329149

Virat Kohli hits maiden double century, in any format and at any level

Before this knock, Virat Kohli had not scored a double hundred, in any format and at any level.

viratkohli2
Virat Kohli hits his maiden double hundred in the first Test against West Indies on Friday. (Source: AP)

Virat Kohli added another record against his name as he hit his maiden double hundred, in any format and at any level. Before this knock, Kohli was yet to score a 200, even at the first class level. The effort set Twitter on fire as former cricketers and experts lavished praise on India’s Test skipper.

Prior to this, Kohli’s top score first class had been 197 against Pakistan based Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) in the Nissar Trophy – a tournament played for three seasons between India and Pakistan domestic winners. That match in 2008 had the likes of Aakash Chopra, Virendra Sehwag, Ashish Nehra and Ishant Sharma playing for the Delhi team. The SNGPL side, on the other hand, had familiar names in Mohammad Hafeez, Umar Akmal and Misbah-Ul-Haq.

When Kohli crossed the 150-run barrier with a boundary, he became the highest scoring Indian captain in West Indies going past the previous mark of Rahul Dravid.

Here’s a look at the top reactions:

Source: http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/virat-kohli-hits-his-maiden-double-century-in-any-format-and-at-any-level-2930288/

Sunrisers choke RCB chase to seal first title

Sunrisers Hyderabad 208 for 7 (Warner 69, Cutting 39*, Jordan 3-45) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 200 for 7 (Gayle 76, Kohli 54, Cutting 2-35) by eight runs

Sunrisers Hyderabad celebrate the win during the final of the Vivo IPL 2016 ( Indian Premier League ) between The Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Sunrisers Hyderabad held at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, India,  on the 29th May 2016 Photo by Deepak Malik / IPL/ SPORTZPICS
Sunrisers Hyderabad celebrate the win during the final of the Vivo IPL 2016 ( Indian Premier League ) between The Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Sunrisers Hyderabad held at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, India, on the 29th May 2016
Photo by Deepak Malik / IPL/ SPORTZPICS

In their first IPL final, Sunrisers Hyderabad showed their intent early by opting to bat against Royal Challengers Bangalore at a venue where tall scores have been chased down nonchalantly.David Warner, their captain, top-scored with a 38-ball 69, before Ben Cutting finished the innings with an unbeaten 15-ball 39 to help them post 208 for 7. Eventually, however, it was Sunrisers’ bowling attack, the best in the tournament, that delivered their maiden IPL title with an eight-run win at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Royal Challengers had passed 200 three times previously at home this season and there was no reason why they could not do so again on Sunday, except the pressure of chasing in a final. It did not affect Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli, though, as the opening pair wiped out 114 in 10.3 overs. Gayle alone contributed 76, with four fours and eight sixes. Sunrisers’ attack was under pressure, but they clinically applied the brakes after Gayle’s wicket.

Even with Gayle, Kohli and AB de Villiers dismissed, 47 off 24 balls was still within reach. Shane Watson, Stuart Binny and Sachin Baby had to contend with two threats. One was Mustafizur Rahman’s cutters, delivered with unfailing accuracy after a rough second over in which Kohli took him apart. The reward for his persistence was the wicket of Watson, who miscued a slog to cover. Bhuvneshwar Kumar then delivered four successive yorkers in the 18th over, leaving the hosts 30 to get off the last two overs. Then, with 18 to defend off the final over, he once again held his composure.

Shane Watson had a rare off day with the ball. He fed the batsmen an assortment of hittable deliveries – short, wide and full – to concede 61 off four wicketless overs, including 24 in his last over, the 20th of the Sunrisers innings.

Royal Challengers, however, had their batting guns. With only one fifty in nine innings leading up to the final, there were question marks over Gayle, but he was unperturbed, launching Barinder Sran for three sixes in his first two overs and lifting Royal Challengers to 42 for 0 after four.

Gayle brought up his half-century with another six, off Moises Henriques at the start of the seventh over, getting there in 25 balls. His rate of scoring gave Kohli the space to overcome a patchy start that brought him only one four in his first 18 balls, that too off a thick outside edge. Then an inside-out hit over the infield nearly carried to a diving Warner at long-off. Gayle finished that over, bowled by Henriques, with two sixes and a four raised Royal Challengers’ 100 in nine overs.

Warner brought back Mustafizur in the 10th over, and Kohli finally got going, squeezing him past cover for four and then lofting him over the long-off boundary. With the asking rate under control, Gayle tactfully rotated the strike. Royal Challengers were cruising.

Then came the turbulence: Gayle, Kohli and de Villiers fell in the space of 20 balls, and Royal Challengers slipped to 148 for 3. They needed 61 off 37 and they needed Watson to make up for his lapses with the ball. He swatted Henriques for six over long-on, but his dismissal in the 17th over, immediately following that of KL Rahul, left Royal Challengers with too much to do in too little time.

The platform for Sunrisers’ win was set by Warner. With Kohli employing a deep point to block his cut, the Sunrisers captain brought out the straight lofted hits. When the ball was not in his half, he was happy to back away to open up the off side or carve the ball behind square. The result was eight fours and three sixes for his ninth fifty of the tournament, which he ended as its second-highest run-getter.

Yuzvendra Chahal bowled more floaters than legspinners to Warner, but they skidded on and ended up giving the batsman hitting room. Warner used that room to cut him for two fours in the ninth over to bring up his fifty off only 24 balls, equalling the record for the fastest half-century in an IPL final. As his innings progressed, he was not afraid to walk across the stumps, and use the depth of the crease to get underneath full deliveries.

Yuvraj Singh, who came in at 97 for 2 in the 10th over, sustained Sunrisers’ momentum. He got going with a punchy off-drive off Watson, and then flicked Chris Jordan for six behind square. The swagger and the the free-flowing bat swing were back. With four fours and two sixes, he raced to 38 and before he fell to Jordan’s slower ball. Yuvraj’s dismissal came in the 17th over, soon after those of Warner and Deepak Hooda. At 148 for 5, it looked like Royal Challengers could reel back Sunrisers in the slog.

Cutting ensured that wouldn’t happen. He stayed deep in the crease, shortening the length of attempted yorkers, and clobbered the low full-tosses and half-volleys. Batting on 16 off 10 at the start of the final over, he hit Watson for 4, 6, 6 and 1 before coming back on strike for the final ball of the over, which he launched high over long-off. That over went for 24 and proved match-turning: playing their third final, Royal Challengers lost for the third time.

Royal Challengers Bangalore players arrives to pitch during the final of the Vivo IPL 2016 ( Indian Premier League ) between The Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Sunrisers Hyderabad held at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, India,  on the 29th May 2016 Photo by Deepak Malik / IPL/ SPORTZPICS
Royal Challengers Bangalore players arrives to pitch during the final of the Vivo IPL 2016 ( Indian Premier League ) between The Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Sunrisers Hyderabad held at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, India, on the 29th May 2016
Photo by Deepak Malik / IPL/ SPORTZPICS
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli (L) and his teammates acknowledge supporters after losing against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / GETTYOUT
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli (L) and his teammates acknowledge supporters after losing against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN / —-IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE—– / GETTYOUT
Sunrisers Hyderabad bowler Ben Cutting (R) celebrates with teammates the dismissal of Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman K L Rahul during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016.  / GETTYOUT / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / GETTYOUT
Sunrisers Hyderabad bowler Ben Cutting (R) celebrates with teammates the dismissal of Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman K L Rahul during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016.
/ GETTYOUT / —-IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE—– / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN / —-IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE—– / GETTYOUT
Sunrisers Hyderabad bowler Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (L) tries to run out Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Sachin Baby (R)during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / GETTYOUT
Sunrisers Hyderabad bowler Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (L) tries to run out Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Sachin Baby (R)during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN / —-IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE—– / GETTYOUT
Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner (2nd R) celebrates his team's victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / GETTYOUT
Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner (2nd R) celebrates his team’s victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN / —-IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE—– / GETTYOUT
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain and batsman Virat Kohli bends down with disappointment in the players dug out after being bowled out during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain and batsman Virat Kohli bends down with disappointment in the players dug out after being bowled out during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain and batsman Virat Kohli looks on as he is bowled out during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016.  / GETTYOUT / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain and batsman Virat Kohli looks on as he is bowled out during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016.
/ GETTYOUT / —-IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE—– / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain and batsman Virat Kohli raises his bat after scoring 50 runs during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016.  / GETTYOUT / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain and batsman Virat Kohli raises his bat after scoring 50 runs during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016.
/ GETTYOUT / —-IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE—– / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
Sunrisers Hyderabad bowler Ben Cutting (C) celebrates the dismissal of Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Chris Gayle (L) while partner and captain Virat Kohli (R) looks on during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016. / GETTYOUT / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
Sunrisers Hyderabad bowler Ben Cutting (C) celebrates the dismissal of Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Chris Gayle (L) while partner and captain Virat Kohli (R) looks on during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016. / GETTYOUT / —-IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE—– / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain and batsman Virat Kohli plays a shot during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016./ GETTYOUT / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain and batsman Virat Kohli plays a shot during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016./ GETTYOUT / —-IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE—– / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain and batsman Virat Kohli runs between the wickets during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016./ GETTYOUT / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain and batsman Virat Kohli runs between the wickets during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016./ GETTYOUT / —-IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE—– / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Chris Gayle plays a shot during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016.  / GETTYOUT / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Chris Gayle plays a shot during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016.
/ GETTYOUT / —-IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE—– / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
The Commentators during the final of the Vivo IPL 2016 (Indian Premier League) between The Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Sunrisers Hyderabad held at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, India,  on the 29th May 2016 Photo by Shaun Roy/ IPL/ SPORTZPICS
The Commentators during the final of the Vivo IPL 2016 (Indian Premier League) between The Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Sunrisers Hyderabad held at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, India, on the 29th May 2016
Photo by Shaun Roy/ IPL/ SPORTZPICS
Sunrisers Hyderabad batsmen Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Ben Cutting celebrate the completion of their 20 over innings during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016. / GETTYOUT / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
Sunrisers Hyderabad batsmen Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Ben Cutting celebrate the completion of their 20 over innings during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016. / GETTYOUT / —-IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE—– / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
Sunrisers Hyderabad captain and batsman David Warner raises his bat after scoring a half century (50 runs) during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016. / GETTYOUT / ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRAN
Sunrisers Hyderabad captain and batsman David Warner raises his bat after scoring a half century (50 runs) during the final Twenty20 cricket match of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 29, 2016. / GETTYOUT / —-IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE—– / AFP PHOTO / MANJUNATH KIRANIPL

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Kohli special steers India home on a turner

India's Virat Kohli celebrates his team victory  during the ICC World Twenty20 2016 cricket match against Pakistan at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India, Saturday, March 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
India’s Virat Kohli celebrates his team victory during the ICC World Twenty20 2016 cricket match against Pakistan at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India, Saturday, March 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

There was rain, but the Eden Gardens wasn’t submerged. There was a pitch that made spinners seem like grenade launchers. There were 61,337 people including certifiable legends of the game from Sachin Tendulkar to Imran Khan. All of it added to the spectacle of India-Pakistan cricket, but Virat Kohli rose one step above with an innings of gumption and class.

India needed to win tonight to stay in control of their fate at the World T20. A few tactical errors left them with a competitive 119 to chase. When the ball grips into the deck, slows down and simultaneously turns, a batsman’s judgment becomes of great importance. Hitting on the up carries risk. Playing too far away carries risk. Finding a run a ball can be troublesome. Kohli found 55 of them in only 37 balls to beat Pakistan for an 11th time in ICC global events.

Kohli’s thirst to compete was apparent when he said a cricketer needs tough pitches. He had the 18 overs that Pakistan had to bat to assess the one in Kolkata. There were a few shots that he needed to avoid, and a few things he needed to exploit – like his speed between the wickets. He fed his innings with 19 singles and a two, playing his shots as late as he could, and every time he played one, it was with the intent to get some runs. Kohli allowed only nine dots in his innings.

The loss to New Zealand had “hurt” Kohli. “We don’t perform like that at home,” he said in the post-match presentation. The shots that he hit tonight as he neared his half-century – two scorching cover drives when the bat barely strayed away from his body – typified exactly how one should play on such pitches. The longer he was at the crease, the weaker Pakistan became and the night eventually ended with the man who Kohli bowled to upon reaching his fifty – Tendulkar – waving the India flag aloft.

It wasn’t a flawless day for the hosts though. They had a chance to be chasing far less. They didn’t bowl R Ashwin out on a surface made for him and their fast bowlers bowled length balls and full tosses in the death when the offcutter seemed the logical choice. Pakistan’s lower order, marshalled by Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal, swung into the leg side with glee and ransacked 51 runs off the last five overs.

Even after such a rich return in the death, Pakistan’s total remained in the competitive range. And that was because of the control India had in the early going.

Bats these days have a lot of wood in their middle. The ball and the Kolkata pitch colluded never to find it. The leading edge was allowed a peek. The outside edge tried to pipe up, but it was always beaten. On-and-off rain since 5 pm had shortened the game to 18-overs a side, but the pitch was dry enough that all anyone had to do was roll their fingers over the ball to be menacing. Ashwin turned it square in the second over. Ravindra Jadeja couldn’t bowl his wicket-to-wicket line because he couldn’t believe how much the ball was deviating.

Considering that, it seemed Pakistan had stabbed themselves by dropping a spinner, and a handy batsman, in Imad Wasim to add Mohammad Sami to their XI. However, Pakistan being Pakistan and Sami being Sami turned a liability into a strength. Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina – two men who seem to struggle badly in a touch situation – chopped onto their stumps and Sami was on the cusp of a hat-trick in every form of cricket. Yuvraj Singh soaked in that pressure and contributed 24 runs to a match-winning 61-run partnership with Kohli.

Pakistan’s batsmen, who were heavily maligned leading into the tournament, acquitted themselves quite the ball was darting around. On top of that was the inherent pressure of this match. But Ahmed Shehzad laid a solid foundation with his 25 off 28 balls. They eased past the first 10 overs with only two wickets lost. Ashwin had only one left in his quota and Jadeja had two. Dhoni didn’t think about Yuvraj Singh at any point in the game, and kept at it with his seamers. Pandya gave away 15 runs in 14th over and Bumrah 13 in the very next.

At that point, it seemed Pakistan had the edge. Then Kohli came out and took it away from them.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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