Shane Watson praises Virat Kohli for his superb performances in World Cup 2023

Indian cricket superstar Virat Kohli's match-winning performance in the thrilling encounter against New Zealand has earned high praise from former Australian batsman Shane Watson.

Kohli's masterful innings of 95 runs from 104 deliveries played a crucial role in India's four-wicket victory over New Zealand in the 2023 World Cup clash held in Dharamsala on October 22.

The contest, which saw the only two undefeated teams in the tournament facing off, had fans on the edge of their seats as India chased down a target of 274. The opening partnership of skipper Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill provided a strong start, with 71 runs added in just 67 deliveries.

Despite the quick wickets that fell during the tense run-chase, Virat Kohli held his ground, scoring runs with precision. Watson, speaking to Star Sports after the match, highlighted Kohli's remarkable ability to gauge the situation and adapt accordingly in high-pressure run-chases. 

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“Virat has that internal computer, which just works so efficiently, and he just knows what you need to do at the right time,” praised Watson, acknowledging the captain's exceptional cricketing intelligence.

Kohli's statistics in successful run-chases are remarkable, boasting an average of 90.40 at a strike rate of 97.16 in matches where India has won batting second. He has also notched up an impressive 17 centuries in ODIs during successful run-chases, putting him just one century away from the legendary Sachin Tendulkar's record of 48 centuries.

Shane Watson went on to emphasize that Kohli's ability to make chasing targets appear effortless is a testament to his extraordinary skills. 

Virat Kohli
Photo by Icon sport

“People have got to realize it's not that easy to chase runs, but Kohli makes it look so easy,” said Watson, acknowledging the complexity of run-chases.

He also highlighted the challenge of determining which deliveries to attack and when to take a more conservative approach based on the situation and the partner at the other end.

India's victory over New Zealand solidified their position as the only unbeaten team in the World Cup, marking their first ICC event win against the Kiwis since 2003. Rohit Sharma's Men in Blue will now enjoy a well-deserved week's break before facing England in their upcoming match in Lucknow on Sunday, October 29.