Virat Kohli still form the fulcrum of Indian batting despite test failures
Poster boy, Rockstar or Mr. Stylish whatever you would like to call him, Virat Kohli will continue to entertain the cricket crazy fans in India through his unending passion to deliver on the field. Despite his evident struggles against ace English speedster, James Anderson, in the recently concluded test series in the UK, he never shied away from taking the strike to him whenever he got the opportunity. This deserves a big round of applause for the Delhi boy as most batsmen in his place would not have dared to do so. Given the adversity at large, he could have easily chosen to stay from the strike when Anderson was about to bowl. But it didn’t happen much to the delight of cricketing fans who love to see players showing fight when the chips are down. Virat did just that. It is due to this never-say-die attitude, he scored runs in the ODI series and a lone T20 encounter that followed the test series.
England test tour-an aberration for Virat Kohli
The test series in England had been a complete dampener for a star batsman like Kohli who managed a meagre 134 runs in 10 innings with no fifty. This is where Virat needs to grow in stature as a batsman. He must realize such blemish happens in every cricketer’s life, but the key lies in recovering from that. And if he has to graduate himself from a good batsman to great batsman, then he must concentrate on putting up a spirited display of performance in the test series down under later this year. This will not only help him establish as an accomplished test player but also augur well for India’s campaign to defend the world cup title followed by the test and ODI series in Australia.
Why Virat is a vital cog of the Indian team?
Virat, despite the woeful test series against England, has been hogging limelight on account of superb batting displays in the shorter format of the game i.e. ODIs and T20s. He scored a hundred against at the start of this year with 123 against New Zealand at Mclean Park, Napier, followed by 78 in Seddon Park, Hamilton. Despite his heroics, NZ won the 5 match one day series 4-0 with the 3rd ODI at Eden Park, Auckland, ended in a tie. He continued his rich vein of form in the following test series against the Kiwis with a hundred in the 2nd test match at Basin Reserve, Wellington, continuing from 62 in the 2nd inning of the first test match won by NZ. However, India couldn’t seize the initiative in the 2nd match as they let the home side go off the hook when they were starring down the barrel at 102 for 5 facing a deficit of 246. Brendon McCullum couldn’t have chosen a moment than that to score a triple hundred. His core of 302 not only took the game from India but also stared the visiting side at defeat. However, bad light came in to India’s rescue with the match being called off. Kiwis won the series 1-0, but Virat established himself as a perfect no 4 batsman for India, a place which the maestro Sachin Tendulkar held it for many a years.
Following the successful trip to NZ, Virat continued his good form in the Asia Cup with a superb century against Bangladesh in India’s opening game and a well made 48 against Sri Lanka in the next game. However, he got out cheaply against arch-rivals Pakistan in the last match. As a result of consecutive defeats at the hands of SL and Pak, India was shown the exit door. Then came the all important T20 WC 14 in Bangladesh and Virat displayed superb performances against Pak, West Indies, Bangladesh and Australia in the league stage. Later on in the semi-final, he scored a brisk 72 off 44 balls to seal the fate of a formidable South African side. But despite his brilliant 75 in the final, Virat could not save India from a crushing defeat at the hands of Lankans. He was way too short of expectations in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 with an aggregate of 359 runs in 14 games at a modest average of 27.61. However, he still remains a centripetal force around which the entire team revolves.
PS : This article is written by intern Vicky.