Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Time to Join The Virat Kohli Bandwagon

I'll admit it, I hated this kid.

This young upstart appeared and quickly established himself as one of the many flat track wonders, plundering usually lesser teams to all corners of sub-continent grounds and being hailed for his incredible maturity (?) while earning himself the rather unfortunate title of 'The Future of Indian Cricket'.

Despite contributing little but good fielding and a foul mouth, he was soon a World Cup champion. I was utterly convinced that all we had here is another Suresh Raina, and the overseas tours will sort this young brat out.

It did, but not quite in the way I expected.

He was a pillar in the Test Series, the only Indian batsman who batted with any level of skill and assurance including the only one to cross three figures. He completely outclassed the best batting line-up there is.

But even that doesn't compare to yesterday.

Dear critics, this one is for you. © AFP

Last nights century truly was something to behold. The thought of chasing 320 inside 40 overs was laughable, ludicrous, nothing short of a joke. The match unfolded and ridicule descended into vague possibility, probability, and then a scarcely believable certainty.

Yes it was a dead pitch, yes the bowling and fielding absolutely dire and the ridiculous concept of powerplays almost made it feel like cheating. But regardless, to turn in a performance like that, to find that level of sudden confidence after a tour marked down as a complete disaster, that takes a certain mindset and ability and it has to be admired.

The incredible innings placed him as the only Indian centurion in the one-day series as well. We mustn't forget that this has been a wretched tour for Indian batsman. With Sehwag aiming for another 200, Sachin making the prettiest 20's, Gambhir establishing himself as the run out king, Raina playing bouncers like a little child and of course Dr. Dhoni single handedly killing three run chases. At least with Kohli, the Indian cricket team in the years to come will have one quality player who can handle himself away from home.

India are still most likely going to leave this tour early, but finally they have one thing to cheer about and one person worth remembering. I would have laughed if somebody believed he truly was the future of Indian cricket. Now Kohli is the one doing the laughing.

Its the Virat Kohli bandwagon folks, and The Cricket Musings has just leaped aboard.


  1. I hated him back then and still don't think he's as good or talented or has the potential that a Suresh Raina possesses. Raina played bouncers like a little child ?? Tell me , how many times did he get out to the bouncer in the 8 ODIs played ?? Can't you notice that Gautam Gambhir struggles far more with short stuff than a Raina ?? Coming back to Kohli, don't get carried away . Yes, the innings from Kohli was ,for once,useful but the pitch was clearly dead and felt like the match was being played in Multan. Kohli didn't do well at all in the first 3 tests, where the pitches were more bowler friendly, and the 4th test was played in batsmen-friendly conditions. Remember when Raina rescued India on countless occasions in tracks which were slow and also in tracks which were conducive to pace ? Remember when Raina as a 19-year old rescued India against England on a very difficult track in Faridabad where the likes of Dravid,Sehwag,Yuvraj,Gambhir,etc were back in the pavillion from a position where victory almost seemed impossible ? He was also up against Andrew Flintoff right after the Ashes at his best. Raina is the only centurion in all formats with his t20 hundred against SA when no one else made much of a contribution with the next highest being 37 of 30 by Yuvraj . There is actually no need to go back in time since he is right up there in the top 5 run getters chart in both the home and away ODI series against England, despite him being made a scapegoat failure in the test series . So Raina has done more than Kohli and the only reason their stats look different is because Raina didn't get sufficient opportunities at his fav no 3 spot . He had to be wasted at 5 or 6 .....

  2. Thanks for your feedback!

    I agree that Gambhir is equally awful against the short ball and is not fit as a Test opener. However he has been in good touch in the ODI matches and contributed heavy runs at the top, easily forgotten that his two nineties set India up before Dhoni took all the credit.

    Raina's technique against the short ball is awful as we saw in England and when facing Brett Lee in this series. Outside of the subcontinent he contributes far less, especially against Australia. He has been dismissed to the short ball twice in this series to answer your question.

    Kohli made 44 and 75 in the 3rd test in Perth, hardly a failure given how the other batsmen went. It was this tour and a good innings in South Africa (another place where India struggles) which convinced me he has the technique to cope.

    Raina is by no means an awful player and a top fielder, but he has had many years to prove himself and in my opinion he is a limited overs utility all-rounder at best.