Ultimate Cricket Trump Cards: Virat Kohli
Breaking down Virat Kohli's skills and attributes into one simple score sheet.
Summary: Do you remember the time when cricket trump cards used to be the trend everywhere? Those shiny cardboard strips, listing every necessary statistical detail of our favourite cricketers, were the rage about a decade back.
Fast forward a decade and FIFA ratings have taken the place of our very special trump cards. Months prior to the football season, fans wait with baited breath to find out if Cristiano Ronaldo would overtake Messi as the best, or if the Argentinian would retain his throne.
Every year, EA Sports gives a countdown to the top 50 players, rating them based on their performances in the last one year. This time, Ronaldo edged past Messi by a solitary point.
Taking cue from them, Sportskeeda presents you its own rendition of these trump cards. We have broken down a player’s ability into various different components, judging him based on his performances over the years. Apart from these pre-defined attributes, there are also additional parameters that distinguish the player, fetching him extra points. These are listed under the “Special Attributes” category.
The first player in this series is India’s Virat Kohli.
ROG: READING OF THE GAME
ROS: RANGE OF SHOTS
Bio: Team India’s current Test skipper started steadily, created ripples after a surge in form at the turn of this decade, and became a sensation after a string of great performances for RCB and India, especially after 2011. Since getting the Test cap, he has become India’s batting mainstay post the retirement of the bigwigs.
In a relatively short career, he has broken a number of limited overs records, both at the international and domestic level, and looks set to become an all-time great.
Kohli is a powerful runner and doesn’t seem to break a sweat while running between the wickets, even at the fag end of the innings. He admits to working out on just his lower body in the gym.
One of the fittest cricketers in the world, he uses an explosive power workout, which gives short bursts of explosive energy. This is a popular technique amongst top footballers.
He is also an exceptional fielder, with a great pair of hands and a precise throw. He stations himself close to the batsman at the crease during Test matches, displaying superb flexibility that is required at that position. In the limited-overs formats of the game, he is seen all over the outfield, standing at crucial positions such as long off, mid off and deep mid-wicket.
READING OF THE GAME
Kohli is renowned for his amazing hunger to score runs, coupled with an unflinching concentration while batting. He clubs this with an innate aggressive streak, not giving an inch to the opposition and always trying to gain a mental edge over the other team. With the Test captaincy on his shoulders, he has watered down the aggression and become level-headed.
He is a keen reader of the game, analysing the dynamics of the bowling attack and picking out chinks in their armour at will.
RANGE OF SHOTS
He might not be the most classy looking batsman but has a strong technique to back his penchant for scoring big. The 27-year-old is comfortable scoring both off the front and back-foot. Unlike other top batsmen, he limits scoring runs in the V, targeting the square region on both sides of the wicket.
The cover drive, the whip off the pads and the inside-out drive are some of his favoured shots. He also plays the short ball reasonably well, often using the swivel pull to good effect.
In run-chases, Kohli outclasses his contemporaries by a fair distance. He relishes batting under pressure and has been an architect of a number of memorable wins for the Indian team.
He was earmarked as a future leader quite early in his career. He first captained the India U-19 side to a World Cup win in 2008. Later, he succeeded Daniel Vettori as the captain for the RCB, where he honed his leadership skills further. When MS Dhoni called curtains on his Test career in 2014, he was ready and poised to take Indian cricket to the next level.