India might have failed to reach the final of the World T20, but there were loud cheers for Virat Kohli at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata during the presentation ceremony. The right-hander was declared the player of the tournament for his incredible performance in the competition. Kohli, who was not at the venue to accept the award, scored 273 runs in five innings for India.
Former India captain, Sourav Ganguly received the award on Kohli's behalf.
It was not just his run-scoring ability, but the way he helped India, almost single-handedly win matches against Pakistan and Australia, which tilted the award in his favour. Besides such winning performances, he also scored a brillaint 89 in the semifinal against West Indies, albeit in a losing cause.
Though his knock against West Indies might have gone in vain, his overall performance in the World T20 helped him win the prestigious award. It was a unanimous choice made by some respected former cricketers and commentators.
"Although I'm disappointed that we were not able to make it through to the final and win the ICC World Twenty20 title on home soil, I'm proud to be named player of the tournament," CNN IBN quoted Kohli as saying.
Kohli, as a result, became the first India player to receive the player of the tournament award in World T20s. Even though India won the title in 2007, Tillakaratne Dilshan won the award.
India were favourites to win the tournament before the World T20 started, with each and every cricket expert labelling them as the team to beat, but the Men in Blue failed to justify their tag. However, Kohli was the shining light for India in the tournament, further enhancing his position as one of the best batsmen in world cricket.
Kohli also praised the India cricket fans, who came out in big numbers to support the team. Decent crowds were seen not only when India played, buit throughout the tournament as well. The World T20 final at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, between England and West Indies, had nearly 60,000 fans.
"As a team, we have all loved the experience of playing in this event in front of big, passionate home crowds and I'm pleased the tournament in India has been successfully staged. And I'd like to add my congratulations to the West Indies men's and women's squads for their successes," Kohli said.