India beat Sri Lanka by a convincing margin of 278 runs in the second Test at P Sara Oval, Colombo. It was Virat Kohli’s first win as Test captain in his fifth match. Aspy Unwalla says this was only a matter of time, and explains what to expect from the Kohli era of Indian cricket. READ: Virat Kohli’s first win as Test captain vindicates ‘aggressive’ approach
It was only a matter of time; India registering its first Test Victory under Virat Kohli was an inevitable waiting to happen. It should have happened in the very first Test Kohli had captained India in, at Adelaide Oval last year. Kohli had made the right moves in that Test, but India narrowly missed converting a great run chase into a fantastic victory. READ: Virat Kohli, you beauty!
After losing the toss in three of his first four Tests as captain, Kohli’s luck with the coin finally changed; his determined young team made the most of it by playing a perfect game of cricket and completely annihilating the Sri Lankans in the Test. Kohli and his team seemed to have learnt from all their past errors. They first batted sensibly as a cohesive unit to put up a decent score on a not-too-easy wicket. Then they showed exemplary patience and maturity to bowl out the Lankans, with all the bowlers chipping in. The second time around, the Indians once again applied themselves to the task of building a decent lead with positive, yet sensible batting. Finally, they bowled and fielded beautifully to reach the winning post in style. READ: Virat Kohli must back his decisions
What can one expect from this Indian Team in the Kohli era? Let us draw some parallels with the Australian team of the Ricky Ponting era. Kohli, today, is very similar to the Ponting who took charge of the Australian team. He is perceived as a hot-headed and mercurial, much like the Australian. Some people have questioned his maturity, as did many who believed that Ponting was an “infant terrible.” What no one will dispute, however, is Kohli’s passion for the game and his commitment to hard work. READ: Virat Kohli keeps cricket’s innocence alive
In the Virat Kohli era, one can expect the following scenario:
1. Kohli will be an inspirational leader across all formats of the sport, and India will become a dominant cricketing nation; India will slowly but surely start winning Tests, both inside and outside the sub-continent. READ: It is time for “Captain Kohli” to step up
2. A new crop of fast bowlers will emerge; we will see a balance in the Indian attack that will frequently take 20 wickets in Tests; Indian fielding and running between wickets will achieve extremely high standards, and that will often ensure winning results. READ: Virat Kohli’s positive cricket leads India forward
(Aspy Unwalla is a life-long cricket fan who played alongside, and against, Roger Binny and Brijesh Patel in his school and college days. His love of the game translated to the youngest of his three sons taking up cricket reporting as a full-time profession.)
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