Did Virat Kohli’s batting against Pakistan bring Diwali shopping to a halt in India?


On Sunday, Virat Kohli gave India 82 reasons to smile after his amazing batting along with Hardik Pandya’s 40 off 37 deliveries gave India a win against Pakistan at the T20 World Cup.

The former skipper’s batting antics, which led the country to a win, elicited amazing reactions from the common man as well as celebrities across the country. Celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan, Shahid Kapoor, Varun Dhawan and many more praised Kohli on Twitter, with Varun Dhawan seen jumping for joy after the Men in Blue’s triumph.


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Kohli’s batting was so phenomenal that he even stopped ‘Diwali shopping’ in the country. Let’s take a closer look at the ‘Virat effect’ on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) payments across the country on Sunday.

Also read: Virat Kohli, a blessing for cricket, captain and coach

Virat and UPI payments

Mihir Vora, chief investment officer at Max Life, tracked online transactions on Sunday — the day of the India-Pakistan match — and found that as Virat Kohli took India’s score up in the match, people remained glued to their screens resulting in a decline in UPI transactions.

The graph shows that before the match began at 1.30 pm on Sunday, there was a surge in shopping on account of the festival season. The shopping rush was as high as 15 per cent around 10:30-12:30 am as compared to with the level recorded at 9:00 am.

After the match started, online transactions remained muted during Pakistan’s batting. It started declining further as India’s batting started.

However, when Kohli came to the crease and began his sensational innings smashing an unbeaten 82 off 53 balls, the decline in payments is the sharpest. Around 4.45, the shopping volumes had dipped to minus six per cent and then reduced even more — to as around (-)20 per cent around 5:30 pm — when India claimed the victory.

As soon as the match ended, the shopping spree resumed and the transaction volumes sharply recovered from around -20 per cent down to about five-six per cent up after 6:00 pm on Sunday.

Also see: Virat Kohli's heroics take India over the line in nail-bitter against Pakistan in T20 World Cup

A massive viewership

The nail-biting India-Pakistan match also generated a new viewership record on streaming app Disney+ Hotstar as over 1.8 crore people tuned in to watch the game.

The previous record for the streaming platform was 1.4 crore people, who had watched the India vs Pakistan match during the Asia Cup.

According to data provided by Disney+ Hotstar, there were 36 lakh live views when the first ball of the match was bowled by India’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The viewership steadily rose from then on — rising to 1.1 crore viewers as Pakistan ended its innings and then surged to 1.8 crore when the match finished in India’s favour, as former captain Virat Kohli led to a four-wickets win.

The match, which was also screened at Inox and PVR cinemas across the country, also witnessed phenomenal responses from the viewers.

INOX Leisure CEO Alok Tandon was quoted as telling news agency PTI, “The response that we got for this match across all the 90-plus cinemas across the country has been phenomenal, identical to a blockbuster movie. The electric environment in the auditoriums was much like what someone witnessed in the stadiums.”

PVR Joint Managing Director Sanjeev Kumar Bijl echoed the same sentiments, saying the response to the game was strong at PVR cinemas.

With inputs from agencies

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Did Virat Kohli’s batting against Pakistan bring Diwali shopping to a halt in India?
Did Virat Kohli’s batting against Pakistan bring Diwali shopping to a halt in India?
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