“A master class batsmen for India at number three”
India’s majority of the victories in the recent past were achieved single-handedly by the young man called Virat Kohli, who has shown great maturity towards his innings at this young age itself. He has once again offered a master class on how to construct an innings against Sri Lanka in the concluded 4th ODI at Colombo. It is because of Kohli majorly that India has managed to seal the deal against the Lankans.
Till he is in the center, one would think India’s hopes of winning a game are alive, particularly while chasing a big target. So, has Virat replaced Sachin today? Normally, between 2003-08 whenever India chased, fans would be relieved if Sachin is out in the middle. However, nowadays Virat is being put in the same mold. Since the 2011 World Cup, he has performed for India on a consistent basis, thereby seeking a permanent place in the Indian squad. His footwork is as good as that of a belly dancer. In such a short span, Kohli has notched up 13 hundreds, out of which 5 have come this year. Be it chasing or piling up a score, Kohli shows a lot of character towards his game.
What is unique about him is the way he approaches his innings according to the circumstances which separates him from other players; especially while chasing 300 plus runs, he has a different mindset than what he typically shows. For instance, taking the case of the fourth ODI after India lost an early wicket, Kohli still took on the attack to the Sri Lankan bowlers, given that Sehwag was still at the crease. This shows that he plays his innings depending on the batsmen he has on the other side, the circumstances that he comes into bat etc. are the factors he generally takes into account. That’s the trait of a good batsman.
Also, on the disastrous 2011/12 India tour of Australia, in which India’s senior batsmen struggled throughout, Kohli stood out, scoring his first Test hundred in Adelaide. Virat Kohli is currently regarded as one of India’s potential number three batman in Tests, after the retirement of Rahul Dravid following the Australian tour. When senior batsman Sachin Tendulkar was rested for the tri-nations tournament in Bangladesh in January 2010, Kohli got to play in all of India’s five matches. After making nine in the opening loss to Sri Lanka, he top-scored with 91 to help secure a win in their next match after India collapsed early in their run chase against Bangladesh. He ended the match unbeaten to help win the match for India with a bonus point after they chased down their target quickly. The next match, he scored his second ODI century against Bangladesh, bringing up the mark with the winning runs.
This is what an in-form batsman can do and be dangerous to the opposition.
He showed wonderful powers of concentration to go with the skills that he’s got. He didn’t break a sweat and posed a challenge to the bowlers whether or not they have the ability to get him out – given that he has the capability of playing all kinds of deliveries, be it in-swing, yorkers etc.
Yes, he has the tools and I don’t think there’s much difference in class, but the question is whether he would able to maintain the consistency until 2015 World Cup, since he has become a more reliable batsman nowadays. Somewhere down the line, much to everyone’s relief, I think Virat Kohli managed to strike the right balance. He seems to have toned down his mistakes and the obsession over his game and his technique.
So I think Virat Kohli is the right candidate for the number three spot. If his success continues to flows, then there’s no doubt that he would be playing non-stop cricket for many years, like Dhoni and Raina, who had played two and half years of continuous cricket.