Friday, 17 January 2020

Virat Batsman

Updated: April 6, 2016 2:04 pm

Yes, we are proud and joyful to have another “Super Batsman” in the form of Virat Kohli, who plays the game so calm with well timing, which was again substantiated in the game against Australia in T-20 World Cup, where he scored 82 runs off 52 balls. The opening batsmen again failed and the responsibility lay upon Virat, who really did his job well. It was a bit scary though when India had more runs to get while the number of balls was less in comparison. But Virat did the trick and knocked out Australia. Virat Kohli again stood to the occasion solely with his sterling knock of 82 not out, and won the match for India. Here, it is noteworthy  that of the 39 times in 42 T-20 matches that Virat has batted, he has scored 50 or more runs in 15 matches, of which 12 times India has won– a winning percentage of 80. The masterpiece crafted by Kohli happens to be breathtaking for the sheer range of shots on display, which once again reaffirms his status as the best in the trade. In fact, his innings should put “Brand Kohli” in a different light. It seems he has resolved himself to win the game for India and does it superbly. Kohli is a pocket-sized dynamo of Team India in all formats of the game. He personifies all the aspirations of the young Indians right from kids to teenage cricketers as an inspiring icon. A situation, which looks grim and closed one, is systematically probed open by his creativity in batting and the shots are played only through the gaps, making a mockery of the field placements of the opposition. Wherever a gap happens to be, the ball is guided to go through that. A true disciple of Little Master Sunil Gavaskar and Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar! But now a debate is gaining momentum in some quarters. One says Virat Kohli is in making of another Sachin, while the other affirms that Virat would surpass Sachin’s milestone. Here it is worth having a glance at both players’ statistics, i.e.  the number of matches Kohli has played so far (41 Tests and 171 ODIs).  In 41 Tests, Sachin scored 2911 runs at an average of 54.22 and hit 10 centuries, whereas Kohli in the same number of Tests accumulated 2994 runs at an average of 44.03 and hit 11 centuries. In 171 ODIs, Sachin scored 5828 runs at an average of 38.85 and hit 12 centuries, while Kohli in the same number of ODIs scored 7212 runs at an average of 51.51 and hit 25 centuries. Whatever the statistics might say, comparisons between the two cricketing greats from different eras tend to be odious. However, there is no denying Kohli’s brilliance.

While the performance of other players with the bat has been lacklustre, it cannot be gainsaid that the Dhoni-Kohli combination is formidable and is becoming too hot for the opponents to handle. The batting, wicket-capturing and planning the course of the game by the duo is unprecedented as the captain and vice captain of the Indian team. And it happens to be Virat Kohli all the way with copy book shots and not resorting to any fancy shots displayed by lesser mortals. Against this backdrop, the question arises: Are Kohli and Dhoni alone paid for the job by BCCI? How about others? Are they playing for charity? Boasting that a team, which has got the world’s top batting line, rides only on Kohli almost in all the matches, especially in crucial ones, is like West Indies riding on Chris Gayle storm. Had Kohli been out, as happened against Bangladesh, what would have been the situation? Gayle, Khwaja, Sharjeel and the likes in other teams are left-hand batsmen and we too have Dhawan, Raina and Yuvi, with no remarkable scores in this edition of W-T20. If India goes like this, it will lose its shine for sure. There is no dearth for talents not only in cricket but also in every sport in the country. The only thing is they need a proper opportunity and grooming & guidance. So, we need to develop a robust infrastructure so as to bring the hidden talent to the forefront as it happens in developed countries.

Finally, coming back to Virat Kohli, there is no doubt in Kohli we have the top cricketer of date. So, hats off to Kohli, who single handedly crafts a magnificent win over the opponents amidst extremely difficult circumstances and in a do-or-die match, he launches an unforgettable assault.

Deepak Kumar Rath

Deepak Kumar Rath

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