Home > Features >

Virat Kohli’s World T20 semi-final knock shows the importance of singles and twos

Virat Kohli emphasised on singles being as important as sixes in T20 cricket © Getty Images
Virat Kohli emphasised on singles being as important as sixes in T20 cricket © Getty Images

Virat Kohli’s innings against South Africa reflects the true value of singles and twos in Twenty20 (T20) cricket. In the slam-bang version of the game, one may overlook the basic returns with an eye on the boundaries. Nishad Pai Vaidya discusses how Kohli’s gem helped India and what it says about pacing an innings.

How important are singles and twos in Twenty20s (T20s). In a mad rush that is T20 cricket, batsmen often tend to target the boundaries and may disregard the importance of the smaller returns. But, ask Virat Kohli about it and he will tell you the importance of rotating strike. “I believe, a single is as important as a six in T20s,” said Kohli after his brilliant innings against South Africa helped India sail into the final of the ICC World T20 2014. Kohli’s innings was a perfect example of his theory.

Consider this: Out of Kohli’s first fifty runs, he had only scored 16 in boundaries i.e. one four and two sixes. He had walked in to bat at the end of the fourth over, and helped India maintain pace without taking too many risks. If you watched him bat at the Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium, you wouldn’t have realised when he made it through to the 30s, as he was knocking the ball around in the gaps and pushing hard for singles and twos. For quite a while, it looked as if he was getting his eye in, but by then he had raced to a significant score.

It was the way Kohli placed the ball that stood out. Using his wrists, he would dab it on the leg-side with the men back on the fence. As a result, he could push his partner for the second and get there quite easily. As he said in the press conference, he went to 20 in 17 balls without taking risks or hitting boundaries. At that stage, a boundary or two could push his strike rate up by some distance and put the opposition under pressure. And, as India had to score at around 8.5 runs an over, his initial move to knock it around did keep the required-rate under control. He was of course helped by the initial surge provided by Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane.

It wasn’t just the fact that he took singles, but the manner in which he took singles that helped India. A batsmen may start off slowly, but then get bogged down and try to hit. Kohli was assured right through and there was an inherent aggression in the way he picked his runs. There was an assured plan and the body language was positive, not allowing the pressure get the better of him. Plus, his innings also set the stage, wherein India needed 40 off the last four, which makes it anybody’s game. That allows someone like a Suresh Raina to wield his willow around and power the final surge.

For a man to adopt this strategy, it requires tremendous belief and confidence. But, the basic principle in any format has been to keep the scoreboard ticking. As Kohli said, you can push a few twos in an over and then if you get a boundary ball, it suddenly becomes a fantastic over for you. Compare that with someone who may try to smash every other ball. Firstly, there is a chance he may throw his wicket away and secondly, he may not connect and concede too many dots. It is quite fascinating that not many batsmen realize the true value of singles in T20 cricket.

ICC World T20 2014 schedule: Match time table with venue details

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 29, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Deodhar Trophy, 2014-15

Nov 29, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at TBC

More

Afghanistan tour of UAE, 2014

Nov 28, 2014  at Dubai

United Arab Emirates won by 5 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 21 runs

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

Phil Hughes passes away: Video tribute

Sean Abbott will find the road ahead a living nightmare

Phillip Hughes’ death: What happens to India vs Australia Test series?

Phillip Hughes 63 not out, forever

Phil Hughes: Remembering his most memorable knocks

Phillip Hughes passes away: Crying for Phillip Hughes

Australia England India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 Phil Hughes Phil Hughes Death Phil Hughes head injury Phillip Hughes Sri Lanka

India tour of Australia 2014-15: 1st Test set to be rescheduled as David Warner, Shane Watson and Brad Haddin not ready

UAE beat Afghanistan by 5-wickets in first ODI at Dubai

Bangladesh edge out Zimbabwe by 21 runs in 4th ODI at Dhaka

Phillip Hughes was destined for greatness: Steve Waugh

Afghanistan set 249-run target against UAE in 1st ODI at Dubai

Brendon McCullum smashes fastest Test century for New Zealand

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day Two: Statistical Highlights

Phillip Hughes’ death: Cricket resumes, but with a heavy heart

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 4th ODI at Dhaka: Highlights

Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mahmudullah record second-highest fifth wicket partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Fawad Khan Birthday Special: 7 reasons that make him the ONE you have been waiting for secretly!

‘एक्शन-जैक्सन’ मूवी के लिए अजय देवगण ने कैसे वज़न घटाया

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

वज़न घटाने का नुस्ख़ा #43: वज्रासन से वज़न घटायें

Priyanka Kothari Birthday Special: Sexy looks of the hot actress (In Pics)

Bigg Boss 8 highlights: Ali Quli Mirza left alone, Gautam Gulati gets special present from Diandra Soares

Bigg Boss 8: OMG! Gautam Gulati draggd to the bathroom by Diandra Soares

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here