Kohli, master architect of chases

Kohli, master architect of chases

 It is not for nothing that great Vivian Richards finds his reflection in Virat Kohli.

The 24-year-old vice-captain is the new face of young Indian cricketers, who are fearless and carry the confidence to measure up against the best in world. His spectacular counterattacking century against Australia here was his tenth while chasing and yet another instance of how much he relishes a challenge.

Significantly, all those 10 hundreds have resulted in successful ending for India. In fact, Kohli’s average -- 82.70 -- in successful chases is the second highest in ODIs. He has scored 2481 runs in 43 innings including 12 fifties while chasing. In fact, in successful chases for India, only captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has a better average (100.09) and Sachin Tendulkar (14 in 124 innings) more hundreds than Kohli.
The Delhi boy went berserk against the Australian attack on Thursday to rustle up the fastest century by an Indian (100 n.o. off 52 balls), surpassing the record of none other than his senior State-mate Virender Sehwag.

Like any quality batsman, Kohli has the ability to quickly pick the length of the ball and play to its merit. His terrific strokeplay gives expression to his aggression. If India could hunt down a mammoth target of 360 runs with 39 balls to spare, it was largely due to Kohli’s ruthless assault on the Australian bowling—be it seam or spin.
To see him bat in second one-day international was one of the best moments for his coach Rajkumar Sharma, who attributed his ward’s feat to his mental toughness. “I have known Virtat since he was nine years old, and he is mentally very strong. He is a big match player. That is one of the reasons he has done so well while chasing. He has the technique and passion. He just murdered the Australian bowling that day.  It was one of the best moments of my life,” Kumar told Deccan Herald.

“People might pull him down for his aggression but it is limited to his game, which is a good thing and his records show that.  He is one batsman who never has problem facing short balls. In fact, he is quite good at it.  He nurses no fear.”

In fact, all the ten centuries of Kohli have come in different tone and texture. At times, he had skillfully adapted himself to the demands of the situation, playing as a sheet anchor and at the Sawai Man Singh Stadium, he played the role of aggressor to perfection.

Australian captain George Bailey was gracious while admitting that it was Kohli who took the game away from them. So overpowering was that innings that its dazzle slightly shadowed the commendable efforts of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan.  
Former India all-rounder and national coach Madan Lal was thrilled to see Kohli’s exploits. “The way they batted proved that India still has the best batsmen in the world.  Virat was superb, it was a sheer joy to see him bat. He is among the best India has produced,” he said.  

Former Indian captain Chandu Borde felt India’s performance showed the youngsters are on the right track for the World Cup. “I will like to congratulate all three batsmen. Kohli has amazing confidence. It showed our youngsters are ready for anything even for the World Cup, though there is still time for that,” Borde said.

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