Dhoni unearths Kohli's bowling prowess in second ODI

Virat Kohli was impressive with his bowling performance. he gave only 18 runs in the five overs that he bowled Getty Images

By Pragya Tiwari

New Delhi: Oct 17, 2011

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has the knack of unearthing hidden talent in his teammates. He has made Yuvraj Singh a full-fledged bowler from a part-timer, uses Suresh Raina as a crafty backup spinner and now he wants to look at Virat Kohli as an additional medium-pacer.

His confidence in Kohli is not misplaced. He knows that the middle-order batsman is from Delhi and should know a bit about the Kotla pitch. What surprised everyone was he tossed the ball to Kohli ahead of the quickest bowler in the team, Umesh Yadav, as early as the 11th over of the England innings in the second One-day International (ODI) here Monday.

The 22-year-old, who received a loud cheer from the home crowd, took his captain’s decision seriously by bowling a steady line and length and kept Kevin Pietersen and Ravi Bopara on a tight leash. Dhoni might have been pretty pleased to see his move click even if Kohli has not grabbed a wicket or two in his five overs bowled in three spells.

It is not that Dhoni has not bowled Kohli before. The youngster bowled in 13 of the 66 ODIs he has played, but his figures of 5-0-18-0 Monday certainly proved something more – that he could bowl an economical line and length in a clip of overs. He gave away only nine runs in his first four overs before Samit Patel struck him for a four through the covers in the 41st over.

On the eve of the match, Kohli had said that it will take time for the players to get adjusted to the rule changes. But the youngster Monday was quick to tell Patel that he could have got him out for taking unfair advantage by backing up for a run even before the ball was delivered. Kohli just warned Patel and allowed him to scamper back.

Many see Kohli, who led India to win the Junior World Cup, as a future India captain. He sure seems to be on course. (IANS)