How Virat Kohli is revitalising Indian Cricket
Indian Cricket Team is going through a really good phase over the last two year heading into next year's big event i.e. the ICC Cricket World Cup.
There were a lot of questions initially when the captaincy was handed over to Virat Kohli post MS Dhoni's reign. MS Dhoni known for his cool head and calmness under pressure situations, pulling off last over victories had a fantastic career as a captain. He has won every major tournament and is still regarded as one of the best captains ever. T
aking over the reigns was huge challenge and honor for Virat Kohli. In the recent years, there is a trend of captaincy affecting players' individual performances. Joe Root crumbled under pressure during the Ashes and his batting performances were affected as a result.
Kohli has taken the captaincy with an iron fist with a single motto of making India the best cricket team across all formats. What Kohli has brought to the fore over the last two years is the balance between aggression and quality of cricket. He never shied away from making bold decisions.
The biggest gamble he took initially is the inclusion of Kuldeep and Chahal combo in the shorter formats ahead of the more experienced combo of Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja. The young leggies struggled initially, were expensive and hit all over the park. Kohli used them aggressively and continued to encourage them to toss the ball and beat the batsmen in flight.
Now Kuldeep and Chahal have developed into two serial wicket takers in the middle overs. The philosophy is pretty simple. Wickets in middle overs not only throttles the run flow but also puts the opposition a step back mentally. They are denied a big finish.
Another credit which Kohli deserves is his contribution in development of Hardik Pandya the all rounder. Pandya looks a much more confident player now and has made no. 6 place his own. He also offers a floating option to power to a bigger total in the end overs. In Bhuvi and Bumrah, India have two of the top 5 best death bowlers in the world.
Kohli, along with the captaincy heroics, has taken his batting to the next level. He is turning into a run machine and is the core to majority of the victories. He is having a fantastic start to 2018 with the bat as well as a leader.
He is showing the team how its done leading from the front. On the field, he still lets Dhoni be the leader and him being the sidekick thereby learning the nuances of captaincy. He and the team are heading in the right direction.
India is currently playing a refreshing brand of aggressive cricket and it was clearly evident in the 5-1 demolition of South Africa in their own backyard that this team is here to dominate the world cricket for the next few years.
India are building up to the world cup with very few gaps to fill. The no.4 slot is still up for grabs. That certainly needs to be addressed. Kohli's India looks best prepared among all teams as of now heading into next year's World Cup.