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The golden goose cannot always lay a golden egg!

Last updated on: April 01, 2016 15:11 IST
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India's Virat Kohli (centre) celebrates with his teammates after taking the wicket of West Indies Johnson Charles

IMAGE: India's Virat Kohli, centre, celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of West Indies batsman Johnson Charles in the World T20 semi-final, in Mumbai, on Thursday. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Ever heard of the story of the goose that laid golden eggs?

That goose can be compared to India’s One-day vice-captain Virat Kohli.

Throughout the World Twenty20 championship he was in full flow with the bat, and in the semi-final against India, in Mumbai on Thursday, Kohli the bowler resurfaced when it mattered.

India's Test captain finished the World Twenty20 with 273 runs from five innings, with a staggering 136-plus average and strike rate of almost 147, making him a contender for the man-of-series award, though that will mean little for the player who is a team man to the T.

Even in the Thursday's semi-final against the Windies, he struck a blazing half century to propel India to a healthy total of 192.

For the umpteenth time in the World Twenty20, the 27-year-old had papered over the cracks in India's top order, his unbeaten 89 accounting for almost half of team’s total in the semi-final against West Indies.

In between, the 11 boundaries and single six that flowed from his bat, the supreme athlete ran himself ragged, regularly converting singles into twos and occasionally two into threes.

Later, during the West Indies’ innings, the evening dew had effectively de-fanged India's spinners, while their pacers bled boundaries, leaving Mahendra Singh Dhoni in an unenviable position.

India's captain, as is his wont, sprang a surprise by tossing the ball to Kohli and the part-time dibbly-dobbler struck immediately, dismissing the dangerous Johnson Charles (52) with his first delivery and ending a 97-run partnership.

Kohli was in the thick of things again in the 18th over, collaborating with Ravindra Jadeja, to almost send back West Indies' hero, Lendl Simmons.

Jadeja took a running catch, but as momentum was taking him over the ropes, he lobbed the ball inside for Kohli to grab. Television replays, however, confirmed Jadeja's foot had touched the boundary and it was declared a six.

Virat Kohli congratulates West Indies players after their World T20 semi-final on Thursday

IMAGE: Virat Kohli congratulates the West Indies' players after their World T20 semi-final, in Mumbai, on Thursday. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Simmons and Russell set alight a hot and humid night with batting pyrotechnics that left the 2012 champions needing only eight runs off the last over.

Dhoni, with the intention of making the most of Kohli’s confidence, only muffed up India’s chances.

Fast bowlers Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah had finished their quota of overs much before the death and that left Dhoni with placing his bets, and a huge challenge on the shoulders of the team’s new go-to guy.

Once again, Dhoni handed the ball to Kohli, hoping the golden arm of the man who could do no wrong would pull off a miracle. It was not to be.

Kohli conceded a single off the first delivery and followed it up with a dot ball to raise Indian hopes of an improbable victory.

Andre Russell hit the following ball for four, though, and deposited the next over deep mid-wicket and into the stands to break 1.2 billion Indian hearts.

As the full toss left Russell's blade and settled deep into the stands, dropping a deathly silence across the Wankhede Stadium, Virat Kohli stood dazed, gazing at the trajectory of the ball and, perhaps, wondering what else he could have done.

As Russell and Simmons were mobbed by their teammates, Kohli stood alone with his thoughts.

A lesson for Dhoni in the result: Use your bowlers smartly, and Kohli is but only human. He is no machine that will fire everyday. Don’t squeeze all you can out of the team’s ‘goose that lays golden eggs’. 

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