Lendl Simmons, the hero of West Indies’ victory over India in the ICC World Twenty20 2016 semi-final, has revealed how a “very arrogant” Virat Kohli motivated him to play a match-winning knock in Mumbai. On March 31 this year, Simmons smashed an unbeaten 51-ball 82 to knock India out of World T20. Chasing 193, West Indies won by 7 wickets at the Wankhede Stadium. India had posted 192/2 after Kohli’s 47-ball 89 not out.
The Caribbean side went on to win the title, defeating England by 4 wickets in the final at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens. Reflecting on that memorable semi-final night, the 31-year-old Simmons said he was angered on the field by Kohli’s aggressive behaviour. “When he (Virat Kohli) fielded, he said something to me, and I said to myself, ‘I’m going to show you you’re not the only good batsman,'” Simmons told “ESPNCricinfo”. “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,” he added.
Simmons rode his luck in the World T20 semi-final. He was twice caught off no-balls. He blasted 5 sixes and 7 fours in his first match of the tournament, having replaced an injured Andre Fletcher. “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,” the right-hander said. He described the match against India as the highlight of his career. “Every cricketer has his day and you just need to cash in when it is your day. I took full opportunity of that (caught off no-balls) 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,” he said.