Friday, December 2, 2011

Opinions On...Virat Kohli

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Saying that Virat Kohli is special is like saying Aishwarya Rai is beautiful.

Through the eighties and nineties, Indian batsmen were prone to panic and collapse in tight chase situations. Miandad had put a lasting wound on India with his last ball six.  India took a long slow road to completely exorcise that ghost. It started with Ganguly, Kaif, Yuvraj and Laxman and has now reached it's pinacle with Dhoni and Kohli. 

Kohli is special because rather than huff and puff his way in typical 80s, 90s Indian style, he just seems take the bull by the horns. Failure doesn't even seem to occur to him. To him more runs seems to be more opportunity to score runs and enjoys being the man. 

He is the culmination of India's efforts to find people that will not wilt till the last ball.

He made his international debut only 3 years ago and he already has made brand about him. If Bevan was the finisher of ODI games and Gilchrist the first authentic wicket keeper-opening batsman then Kholi is a certified night owl. Certified by us; at least at Opinions

There is no way of knowing if he enjoys batting under lights. It does not matter. In a short 3 years he has shown a rare penchant for partying under lights.

An average of 62 while batting under lights. Which obviously means chasing. By way of comparison. Sachin avarages 44. Of course Sachin has played 3 times as many matches than Virat Kohli, batting under lights and certainly Virat's average is going to tend towards a much lower number - I get that. Still in 30 matches an average of 62 is phenomenal.

Another data point...

5 centuries; in successful chase under lights.

Again how does he compare with other greats? He is already better than Virendra Sehwag (4), on par with Ricky Ponting and Jaysuriya and only 1 winning 100 under lights away from Sachin and Gilchrist (6). And the last 2 were openers with more opportunities than ever to score 100s chasing under lights.

Firstly chasing is tricky in ODIs. It is even more so under lights. And it is exactly in this area that Virat Kohli is making his name count against the all time greats of the game. And he is just now entering only his 4th year as an international ODI player.

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