Kohli's arrogance and aggression pushed me to perform in T20 WC semis, says Simmons

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Kohli's arrogance and aggression pushed me to perform in T20 WC semis, says Simmons

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Arun S Kaimal

06/08/2016

West Indian batsman Lendl Simmons has described Virat Kohli as an arrogant and aggressive cricketer. In an interview, Simmons opened up about an incident between him and Kohli during the World T20 semi-final at Wankhede, where Simmons scored an unbeaten 82 to take his team to the final.

Lendl Simmons broke millions of Indian hearts on the last day of March, when he single-handedly destroyed the Indian bowling attack in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup at Wankhede. But it all started on a different note for the Indians. Batting first, Virat Kohli, the player of the tournament awardee in the World T20, scored a 47-ball 89 to power the Men in Blue to a daunting total of 192 on the board. The bowling also started well for the hosts after Bumrah and Nehra struck in quick succession to remove the dangerous Gayle and Samuels. Then Lendl Simmons arrived at the crease, and played an unbelievable innings, scoring 82 off 51 balls, to take the game away from the Indians.

After months, Simmons opened up about the motivation behind playing the match-winning innings. In an attempt to remove him, Kohli riled up the batsman and almost succeeded twice before the bowlers overstepped on both occasions. Describing the incident between the two, Simmons said that Kohli’s arrogant and aggressive behaviour towards him helped him in playing the innings.

“When he fielded, he said something to me, and I said to myself, 'I'm going to show you you're not the only good batsman. That's the way he is. He's very arrogant, he's very aggressive when he fields, and when he bats as well. He's just a very aggressive person.

“Those things motivate our players and it certainly motivated me. That really urged me to bat the way I did - to show him that he's not the only one who can do it. That played a big role," Simmons told ESPNcricinfo.

The West Indian got two chances along the way after he was caught twice off a no-ball. Simmons said that he made the most of his chances and cashed in on the opportunities to take the team to victory.

"Every cricketer has his day and you just need to cash in when it is your day. I took full opportunity of that to bat until the end. It was mind-blowing doing that with all those people supporting India and being very loud. It was the highlight of my career," the 31-year-old added.

Simmons also reflected on Kohli’s innings and said that he followed a similar pattern to take the team to victory.

"When India chase, one of their top batsmen bats deep - that was my role, batting in the middle overs, especially because I play spin well. I know they didn't have any good death bowlers, so with Russell, Bravo and Sammy to come once we passed the middle overs, those guys could always come out and finish,” Simmons told ESPNcricinfo.

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