Home > Features >

Virat Kohli: The unstoppable force

Virat Kohli: The unstoppable force

In the last 10 ODI innings that Virat Kohli has got to bat, the score reads – 102, 31, 2, 115, 14, 68*,  61, 100*, 68 and 115* — three hundreds, including two unbeaten, and two fifties, including one unbeaten. That’s phenomenal © PTI

By Rutvick Mehta

“Maybe we need someone from the crowd to throw things at him like they do at our blokes. That might be a good start.”

This is what Australian captain George Bailey had to say when asked about ways to stop Virat Kohli after his unbeaten 115 guided India to yet another mountain-chasing victory here on Wednesday. Going by his current form, there might really be no other way.

Kohli’s performances in the last 10 ODI innings he has got to bat reads: 102, 31, 2, 115, 14, 68*, DNB, DNB, 61, 100*, 68, DNB, 115* — three hundreds, including two unbeaten, and two fifties, including one unbeaten. That’s phenomenal.

He is now the second-highest run-getter this year (behind Bailey himself), and in this series against Australia alone, his two unbeaten tons have taken India over the ropes while chasing a target in excess of 350.

Easily India’s most prolific batsman over the last two years in the shorter format, Kohli’s latest ton has proven that he has taken his batting to a different level almost blemish-free.

Like in Jaipur, where he ensured India chased 360 with ease, Kohli came out on Wednesday knowing he had to up the ante with India going at under six till the 30th over.

Not that it bothered the Delhi lad, he came out looking like he had been batting for two days straight, and with a combination of drives, cuts, flicks, sweeps and even slog-sweeps, he raced to his 50 in just 31 balls to get the total up to 267/2 in 40 overs (the scoring rate now above 6.5).

“Once Shikhar [Dhawan] got out, I took over and it was important to finish the game. The plan was to play out Mitchell Johnson, we knew he was going for wickets. I always plan my game,” Kohli said after his match-winning effort.

Plan his game he sure does, for then came the killer blow against Australia’s main weapon. It was the 41st over, and Johnson was getting some movement out of the pitch with the old ball, and for that brief period, was looking dangerous.

Kohli produced two moments of scintillating strokeplay – first to rock back and swat the ball through mid-wicket for a four, and second a solid pull for the same result. Those two strokes made it clear that he would win it for India again. It became three in three when he got an outside edge trying to go for another one.

“He has grown as a player. He is someone who is very confident, who loves playing and loves performing. Especially, if you look at this game, he made it look easy. It got difficult at the end with the ball reversing a bit. But he still batted with ease, which was fantastic,” skipper MS Dhoni said after the game.

Another aspect the skipper stressed on, and something that been Kohli’s undoing a few times, was his hot-headedness.

“He has got aggression, which he has to control. And he is doing that brilliantly, channelising and using it for the benefit of his talent and the team,” Dhoni said.

So despite Shane Watson having a lot of things to say to him during the chase, Kohli didn’t lose his cool. Not once did he look like getting out playing a rash shot, something Kohli was earlier prone to. He gave it back to Watson with his words, but never let it affect his batting.

This is a new Kohli on display. His talent and strokeplay has always been top class, but his temperament was susceptible. However, with a majority of his centuries (11 out of 17) coming during successful run chases, he seems to have gotten the best of both worlds.

And maybe, no matter how much Bailey would like it to happen, not even an unruly crowd can stop this man in his current form.

(Rutvick Mehta chose to become a journalist for his love of sports in general, and cricket in particular — the purity of Test cricket, to be precise. Tennis and hockey also excites him equally. The above article first appeared in DNA)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: 1st Test sees disappointing crowd turnout

Virat Kohli spot-kicks raise money for charity in Indian Super League

Duleep Trophy 2014-15: Naman Ojha smashes double ton as Central Zone pile huge score against North Zone

David Warner half-century guides Australia to 113/0 against Pakistan on Day 2 of 1st Test

Sachin Tendulkar wishes fans on Diwali

Viv Richards’ 6/41 bowls West Indies to a thrilling victory over India

Asad Shafiq emerges as dependable No 6 for Pakistan

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

Joginder Sharma: When an over eclipses a career

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

Is Aamir Khan trying to be Mr Bean in PK?

Xiaomi is migrating its international users’ data to improve service performance and strengthen privacy

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg surprises Chinese crowd by speaking seemingly good Mandarin

How to make tamarind or imli packs for hair and skin

ISL 2014 Table & Results: Points Table and Team Standings of Hero Indian Super League Football Tournament

Humsafar episode 9 review: Asher is NOT happy with Khirad’s friendship with Khizar

Abhishek Bachchan, the surprise package in Farah Khan’s Happy New Year?

Top Sex Positions: Frog Princess

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here