Skip to main content

One For The Future: Virat Kohli!


In the last 2 years India has won 25 ODIs chasing totals, and incredibly there has been only one player featuring in all those 25 contests - Virat Kohli! 5 not out innings, 6 hundreds, and an average of 69.65 during this period are numbers which illustrate the kind of impact this man has had in the Indian batting line-up.  He has gone out to overhaul a few records and with the kind of form he is in, many more won’t have a longer life.

He doesn’t belong to the Dravid-way of batting, neither Sehwag-like but has a game which can aptly be described by ‘controlled aggression’. There are lots of likeable things to his style of batting - straight bat strokes, quick feet against spinners, ability to play on both sides of the wicket and good hand-eye co-ordination. Of all the recent Indian batting talent that has been put to play, Virat Kohli has been the only one to have been delivering the goods with more-than-reasonable consistency. At 23 and going through the form of his life Virat Kohli promises to be India’s batting sensation and mainstay over the next decade or so.

It is natural for any bright, new, exciting prospect to receive attention instantaneously; the key to sustain that is to maintain discipline and dedication on & off the field. Virat has been infamously been caught on several occasions of behavior on-field which you don’t quite associate with role-models, he has a brash attitude to batting at times and you almost get a ‘bad-boy’ image about him off-field. There are lots of good things going for him at the moment; the real test of his attitude will only come when things aren’t going his way. Virat has been promoted as the vice-captain of the ODI side, he has led the under-19 Indian team but for him to step up the next obvious level would need him to mature more.

Hashim Amla, Cook, de Villiers (and a few others) have been the run-scoring machines for their respective sides recently, a huge aspect of England and South Africa having a consistent run, Virat Kohli could be the one for India and help revive the team's fortunes in test cricket. Add his dibbly-dobbly bowling and exceptional ground fielding and catching and the end product is a tailor-made package for limited overs cricket. It has been said about the necessity to prove class in test cricket and that good players have good test-match careers, Virat’s knocks Down Under earlier this year augur well for his future and also for India’s middle order which has and will have a few huge vacancies to fill.

During his current outstanding run he has answered a few questions of his ODI cricket - can he shift gears seamlessly? Can he rotate strike during a period when wickets are falling? Can he be your anchor? Can he control the middle overs? And a few in test cricket as well - does he have the temperament to handle hostile bowling in tough terrain? Does he have the endurance to concentrate and push for hundreds rather than neat 50s & 60s? Like a screening exam, Virat Kohli has passed the first hurdle with relative ease and a share of fight (remember he had to struggle to silence critics in test cricket). India doesn’t have any major away tour in the next 18 months, which won’t help us in discovering the following aspects of his game - can he stick out the team from a situation say 18-3 in bowler-friendly conditions? Can he scratch himself from a period of low scores/bad form on seaming, swinging tracks? Can he handle a barrage of short stuff without succumbing? There are a lot of expectations of him (some have even started comparing him to Sachin!), no reason why he cannot satiate them. At the moment though let us sit back and enjoy a very good batsman going through the form of his life!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Save White From Melanization!

Like routine sets in, the debate and discussion encircling the IPL has become almost an invariant exercise. 5 seasons since its advent the critics don’t believe the IPL has or can do any good for Indian cricket, leave alone world cricket, cynics highlight all the off-field controversies associated with the event to drive home the point that the IPL is not cricket but merely entertainment and you have others who are either fans or admirers of the IPL, who don’t budge to the above views! Where have the discussions on the relevance of IPL to T20 cricket or of IPL stints as a stage to perform big taken all of us? The fact of the matter remains that neither the organizers nor anybody else is sure what purpose does the IPL serve. The ‘anybody’ referred to is indicative and is meant to bracket the section of people who don’t quite associate with the IPL.
There is stark similarity to the way the BCCI operates and the ICC is operating on the issue of IPL (undoubtedly a fall-out of Mr Pawar cha…

The Captaincy Conundrum!

8 teams, 60 matches and 7 ‘Indian’ skippers (discounting Duminy and Miller) constituted the recently concluded 9th edition of the Indian Premier League. This featured 2 new teams, unfamiliar captains (Raina, Vijay), seasoned IPL leaders (Gambhir, Rohit, Dhoni), a motivational veteran (Zaheer Khan) and Indian cricket’s man of the moment - Virat Kohli captaining a powerful side. Right through pre-tournament previews till the beginning of the finals, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) wasn’t the most fancied team in the competition. The team was led by the only non-Indian skipper - David Warner, who didn’t have any prior experience of leading Australia. The middle order appeared fragile and injuries to experienced Indian international players (Nehra and Yuvraj) added to the perceptual woes.
Quietly and probably facilitated by the lack of attention, SRH managed to string in consistent wins and stay in the hunt for the title. The template of SRH was designed to ensure penetration with the new ball …

Dhoni's Time Is Up, But Whose Time Has Arrived?

Human tendency preserves memories by associating them with easily recognizable signals. Cricket by virtue of its inherent nature furnishes numerical statistics for this function. The two-test series in New Zealand may not be introspected with fond moments, but the bottom-line generated in the process has imparted a deep imprint on the timeline of Indian cricket. The Indian team and MS Dhoni in particular, now formally possess a dubious statistical feat - 4 consecutive away tours losses and the worst record for an Indian skipper in this context. Apart from getting into a sluggish pit of defeats away from home, the longevity and its consistency is now inducing emotions and retrospection from a critical aperture of the microscope. Naturally such a phase is succeeded by the exercise of identifying a scapegoat, and in the current case Dhoni is the face of all ills.
The primary objection to Dhoni's leadership is his perceivable inactive demeanor on the field. Real-time illustrations endo…