Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > News >

Virat Kohli likely to step into Sachin Tendulkar’s No. 4 spot in Tests

 

Virat Kohli (right) was seen in the nets
With his exceptional talent and solid technique, Virat Kohli (right) is the rightful occupant of the No 4 slot previously held by Sachin Tendulkar © IANS

By Derek Abraham

 

Dec 15, 2013

 

Indian cricket fans the world over will possibly experience a sense of emptiness during the course of the first Test against South Africa in Johannesburg starting December 18. Picture this: the visitors are 12 for two on Day One. They could well be. And all eyes will be on the ‘tunnel’ at ‘The Bullring’. You know it won’t be the Little Master walking down that famous slope. But you’d still be watching — hoping against hope.

 

If Team India’s net sessions are anything to go by, Virat Kohli will bat at No. 4. In Test cricket, this position is the most recognisable of all. And for the Indian cricket team, it was the slot occupied by Sachin Tendulkar for over two decades.

 

At Willowmoore Park on Saturday, Kohli batted with aplomb during training. The ‘side arm’, an integral part of bowling coach Joe Dawes’s tool box, was put to good use. Predominantly used to give ‘throw-downs’ to a batsman, the ‘slingshot’ can help its handler unleash all kinds of deliveries.

 

Dawes dished out an array of short-pitched ones, each of which Kohli ducked or pulled. Umesh Yadav, Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma tried the same, but there was no stopping Kohli.

 

He was keen on countering the bouncer, something he failed to during the just-concluded One-Day International series that India lost. A sore ribcage bears testimony to this fact.

 

Kohli appears to be the rightful occupant of the No. 4 position vacated by Tendulkar. A prolific batsman, especially in the shorter formats of the game, he has earned the right to move up from No. 5. And a lot will be expected of him in South Africa. Following the drubbing in the ODIs, Kohli himself will be desperate to make a statement or two.

 

Kohli’s game is suited for the No. 4 position, a slot where the batsman is either expected to stem the rot after two quick wickets or go on the attack. Either way, his job will be to do the bulk of the scoring. Sandwiched between Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma in the order, he will have the company of two of the most promising India have.

 

Blessed with sound cricketing brains, exceptional talent, solid technique and shots from and outside the textbook, Kohli is capable of making the position his own.

 

A cursory look at Kohli’s Test career reveals that the Delhi batsman tends to flourish towards the end of a series. After scoring just 43 runs in the first two Tests during tour of Australia in 2011-12, he made 44 and 75 in Perth before cracking his maiden hundred (116) in Adelaide.

 

It was no different in the home series against England last year. The right-hander came a cropper in Ahmedabad (19 & 14 not out), Mumbai (19 & seven) and Kolkata (six & 20) before registering a potentially match-saving 103 in Nagpur. But this time, Kohli is pressed for time. The series will be over before he knows it. And India’s fortunes will depend a lot on his performance.

 

Prior to the team’s departure for South Africa, skipper MS Dhoni had stressed upon the need to allow the newcomers to develop into the team in their own right.

 

“If possible, we will omit the No. 4 position,” Dhoni had said. “One, two, three, five, six, seven and then we’ll play till 12. But again, it’s not about one individual. Whoever bats at that slot, it is not pressure on that individual saying he is replacing Sachin Tendulkar. There is no replacing anyone. He (Kohli) brings his own character into the side.”

 

Character, attitude and persona: Kohli has it all and more. His exam starts in four days’ time.

 

 

Why no play?

 

Simon Lepepe, the groundsman at Benoni’s Willowmoore Park, couldn’t believe the two-day match between India and a South African Invitation XI was called off on Friday itself. “Look at the ground. All the wet spots have dried up. I don’t know why there’s no play,” he said on Saturday.

 

When informed that a Cricket South Africa release on Friday had indeed quoted the groundstaff, as saying, that the venue wouldn’t be ready for play on Day Two either, Lepepe was amused. “I guess the teams took a call. Maybe India did not want to play just for a day. But trust me, we could have had a game today.”

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 23, 2014  at Dubai

Chennai Super Kings won by 7 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 22, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 72 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 21, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Chennai Super Kings won by 93 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014  at Dubai

Delhi Daredevils won by 4 wkts

Photos

CSK vs DD, IPL 2014 Match 8 at Abu Dhabi

Videos

IPL: Tanmay Mishra talks shows the contents of his kit

IPL 2013: Chris Gayle’s monumental 175 against Pune Warriors India

Who else but Shakespeare on the World Book and Copyright Day?

IPL 2013: Shane Watson’s scintillating century against Chennai Super Kings goes in vain

John Small — The first man to use a straight bat

IPL 2014: Dwayne Bravo’s absence a major blow for Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings Delhi Daredevils Glenn Maxwell India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kings XI Punjab KXIP vs SRH KXIP vs SRH 2014 MS Dhoni Rajasthan Royals RR vs CSK 2014 Sanju Samson Sunrisers Hyderabad

Sachin Tendulkar turns 41, celebrating birthday away from cricket field

IPL 2014 set to break all records

Saleem Malik hits out at PCB for not reviewing his life ban

IPL 2014: Ravindra Jadeja says he enjoys bowling after Chennai’s win over Rajasthan

David Miller believes three consecutive wins in IPL 2014 ‘phenomenal’ for Kings XI Punjab

Happy Birthday, Sachin Tendulkar — The lesser known records

Happy birthday, Sachin Tendulkar: April 24 in history of cricket

Why was it always Sachin Tendulkar versus someone else?

Why Yorkshire was the ideal county for Tendulkar in the Championship

Sachin Tendulkar — the greatest batsman of India

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

622 Posts | 7 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli's 77 during India vs Sri Lanka ICC World T20 2014 final at Dhaka

Apple Q2 2014 earnings: 43.7 million iPhones, 16.3 million iPads sold

Sonakshi Sinha beats Akshay Kumar in basketball – Watch video!

Champions League: Real Madrid hold on to 1-0 win against Bayern Munich

Is Cameron Diaz planning holiday for Gwyneth Paltrow?

Happy Birthday, Sachin Tendulkar — The lesser known records

Apple iPhone sales in India grew 55% year-on-year

Happy birthday, Sachin Tendulkar: April 24 in history of cricket

Sachin Tendulkar turns 41: 19 interesting things to know about the Master Blaster

Also on cricketcountry.com