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Match Analysis

Virat Kohli compiles an anger-fuelled masterclass

After struggling to 20 off 20 balls, India's captain fired himself up and finished on 94 off 50, his highest score in T20Is

Rohit Sharma has just holed out to deep midwicket for 8 off 10 balls. India are chasing 208 in the series opener against West Indies in Hyderabad. Enter Virat Kohli. The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium raises itself to a massive roar. Left-arm seamer Sheldon Cottrell, however, immediately hushes the packed crowd by zipping a 139.6kph short ball across the shoulder of Kohli, who swings and misses.
Then, with twin midwickets in place - a catcher and another at the edge of the circle - Cottrell nails an inswinger. Kohli has a bigger swing at it this time around, but all he manages is an inside edge. He admonishes himself. Cottrell follows up with a 106kph cutter, challenging Kohli to clear the longer boundaries. The India captain can only stab the ball to the leg side.
Kohli keeps trying to smash the leather off the ball and keeps missing his target. The self-admonishment continues. While KL Rahul settles into his shot-making stride at the other end, Kohli tiptoes to 20 off 20 balls. Rookie legspinner Hayden Walsh Jr. then unfurls a quick fizzer, which Kohli nearly drags back onto the stumps. Walsh Jr. has his hands on his head, wondering what might have been.
Jason Holder tests Kohli with a slower short ball, tucking him up for room. Kohli gets away with a top-edged six. The next ball is a full-toss which he shovels away for four, to the left of long leg. After fighting himself in the early exchanges, Kohli now picks a fight with the umpires for not deeming it a beamer.
In the next over, Kohli runs into Kesrick Williams. Almost literally, as they aren't too far away from brushing shoulders. Kohli exchanges verbals with Williams. There's a bit of history between these two and Kohli will even recall it at the post-match presentation. We'll get to that in a bit.
Kohli is angry with himself. He's angry with the umpires. He's angry with Williams. The anger that's simmering just below the surface is ready to erupt, and it does, like a volcano blowing its lid. With India needing 69 off 36 balls, Kohli blasts Holder into the second tier beyond long-off. The next ball is scythed to the left of short third man for four. The Hyderabad crowd gets behind him, chanting "Kohli! Kohli! Kohli!"
Hello, again, Kesrick. He comes from around the wicket, but misses his yorker. Kohli doesn't miss his target this time and whacks it over Williams' head for four. Then comes the moment of theatre. Williams shifts to over the wicket and although he doesn't miss his length by a big margin, Kohli shovels a six with his powerful bottom wrist over midwicket. He immediately mimics Williams' 'notebook signing' celebration. Except this is the angry Kohli version of it.
Williams just about affords a wry smile as more than 32,000 spectators roar in approval of their captain's transformation after he'd struggled to time the ball earlier in the evening.
"It happened to me in Jamaica [in 2017] when he got me out, so I thought I'll tick a few in the notebook as well," Kohli later says at the post-match presentation.
Rishabh Pant falls for 18 in the next over, but the game is all but sealed, with India needing just 26 off 18 with seven wickets in hand. Kieron Pollard then brings himself into the attack and Kohli whips him for six second ball. Kohli throws his opposite number a death stare, and Pollard returns to his mark, declining to engage in any theatrics.
Kohli vs Williams isn't done yet, though. In the 19th over, Williams goes wide of the crease and full, but Kohli lines him up and clatters him over extra-cover. Just as the ball sails over the fence, Williams slumps to his knees. Two balls later, Kohli seals Williams', and West Indies', fate with another six.
He points repeatedly to the back of his jersey and unleashes an animated fist-pump.
From 20 off 20, Kohli has cranked it up to finish on 94 off 50, his highest score in T20Is, securing India's second-highest successful chase in the format. He ultimately laughs off the confrontation with Williams, and they exchange high-fives, but the bottom line remains clear: you just can't mess with Kohli.
After blowing off the steam, Kohli stands in the middle of the pitch and soaks in the applause. He might as well reward himself with a big, carb-heavy meal and a chocolate shake for yet another masterclass.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo