Virat Kohli: Run machine
Time and tide waits for no man. This is so true in the context of the present Indian cricket scenario.
The Australian and West Indian teams ebbed after the retirement of some of their great players.
Watching these legendary sides spiral pitifully downwards put an element of doubt on Indian cricket as well. The question on everyone’s mind was whether the departure of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman would lead Indian cricket to the same situation due to an inexperienced middle order.
Watching the superlative batting of the young Virat Kohli and the temperamental and technical correctness of Cheteshwar Pujara would have put every Indian fan’s mind to rest.
The innings played by Kohli in the record run chase in the second One-Day International against Australia was an exhibition of high-class batsmanship. His century had class written all over it and was compiled with orthodox cricketing shots. His bat was like a conductor’s wand that flowed like a well led orchestra producing a visual pleasant to the eye.
Kohli’s batting technique is closer to a hockey player. His bat seems slightly slanted cracking the ball with an agile powerful wrist, thereby giving him the opportunity to hit in any direction where he sees a gap.
A similar style is also the hallmark of Pujara, who also seems to have an abundance of patience and guile notching several triple centuries in firstclass cricket.
Apart from these two magnificent young players, the Indian batting has the confident and consistent Shikhar Dhawan, who seems to be treating world- class opponents as if he was playing against a Sunday club side. His self-belief allied to some skillful strokeplay has made him a demon for bowlers. He is exhibiting the aggressive attitude of a Virender Sehwag, giving one the impression that he is not scared to lose his wicket playing his shots. The sensible option of percentage play does not appeal to him.
On the heels of these talented players we have the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina and the very special and talented Rohit Sharma.
The Indian batting seems to be flowing in just the right direction. The youngsters have made life difficult for established former players like Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir and Sehwag which augurs well for the future.
But Mahendra Singh Dhoni has a concern as regards the bowling.
He needs to identify and slot his bowlers for the different formats of the game. The new rule of five fielders inside the circle and the two ball has made life difficult for bowlers.
Added to this is the strict legside wide rule leaving them very little option. One does at time feel sorry for them, as on a good track they seem to be sheep for slaughter.
The field restrictions make it impossible for them to block all the scoring areas and the only variations they can deliver are variable speeds, bounce and length for fast bowlers and flight and direction for spinners.
The Indian cricket lovers are occupied by Sachin Tendulkar’s impending retirement. He must be satisfied by his 24- year career during which he placed Indian cricket at the very top and nurtured the young to take it further.
Time will tell if the departure of legends shakes the roots of Indian cricket but if not, one has to give plenty of accolades to all those who have made this transformation successful.
(The writer is a former Test cricketer)
Reproduced from Mail Today. Copyright 2013. MTNPL. All rights reserved.
Destined for greatness
Progression of the ODI chasing record