Virat Kohli India Pakistan World T20 2016
Virat Kohli celebrate after completing his half-century against PakistanReuters

Virat Kohli lives on a planet where run chases are seen as candy, to be swallowed with joy and a smile on your face. It doesn't matter what the score is, how difficult the pitch is, what the occasion – Kohli thrives when he has a set target to chase, and boy are India glad to have a batsman who likes doing that.

Kohli played a magical innings in the Asia Cup against Pakistan last month, scoring a brilliant 49 on a green-as-they-come wicket against a pace attack made for such conditions. That innings was probably the best he has played in his T20 international career, so to beat that particular knock would have been pretty difficult. Well, he did that, or at least matched that, on the big stage of the World T20 in a must-win match for India at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

After failing to take India home against New Zealand in the opening match of the ICC World T20 2016, Kohli had something to prove, much to Pakistan's detriment. After the bowlers kept Pakistan to 118, the onus was on the openers to set the platform for a comfortable chase, but, yet again, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan flattered to deceive, with Suresh Raina joining the what-are-you-doing gang.

Kohli, though, amidst the carnage, was cool as a cucumber and in Yuvraj Singh, he found a perfect ally again. Yuvraj was key for India when they beat Pakistan in the Asia Cup, and the left-hander played brilliant second fiddle to Kohli another time, when his team needed it the most.

As good as Yuvraj was, though, Kohli's batting was from a different universe. You know, a universe where run chases are all that is there and you have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Not for one delivery did Kohli look uncomfortable, or seem like he would get out. From the first delivery, the ball was hitting the middle of the bat, with Kohli adjusting to the sticky nature of the pitch by playing on the back foot, and looking to play his shots as late as possible.

"I did not really look at the pitch at the beginning of the game," Kohli told Star Sports after the match. "I only realised how the pitch was playing after seeing Ashwin's first over. After seeing that, I spoke to (batting coach) Sanjay Bangar on how I would play, when I came in to bat, so it was all well thought out."

So well thought out, that he hardly put a foot wrong. And after bringing the late shots into play and then the sweeps to the spinners, Kohli's trademark cover drives came out, and whenever it did, it went racing to the boundary ropes.

A drive to long-off gave Kohli his half-century, and the celebration said it all, with the India Test captain bowing down to his idol – Sachin Tendulkar – who was watching from the stands, standing up himself and applauding his heir apparent.

If Kohli continues in this vein, maybe in another 15 years or so, there will be another young, talented right-hander, bowing down in celebration to a Delhiite, whose legendary batting career inspired youngsters to take up the willow and become India greats themselves.

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